Severan Bridge

Severan Bridge

Severan Bridge with the columns of Roman Emperor Lucius Septimius Severus and his second wife Julia Domna seen from the south.
Coordinates 37°55′56.64″N 38°36′29.52″E / 37.9324000°N 38.6082000°E / 37.9324000; 38.6082000Coordinates: 37°55′56.64″N 38°36′29.52″E / 37.9324000°N 38.6082000°E / 37.9324000; 38.6082000
Carries Road traffic and pedestrians
Crosses Chabinas Creek (Cendere Çayı)
Locale Between Kahta and Sincik in Adıyaman Province, Turkey
Official name Cendere Köprüsü
Design Simple, unadorned, single majestic arch
Total length 120 m (390 ft)
Width 7 m (23 ft)
Longest span 34.2 m (112 ft)
Construction end Early 3rd century (before 211)
Severan Bridge
Location of Severan Bridge in Turkey

The Severan Bridge (also known as Chabinas Bridge or Cendere Bridge or Septimius Severus Bridge; Turkish: Cendere Köprüsü) is a late ancient Roman bridge located near the ancient city of Arsameia (today Eskikale), 55 km (34 mi) north east of Adıyaman in southeastern Turkey. It spans Cendere Çayı (Chabinas Creek), a tributary of Kâhta Creek on the provincial road 02-03 from Kâhta to Sincik in Adıyaman Province.

The bridge is constructed of 92 stones, each weighing about 10 tons as a simple, unadorned, single majestic arch on two rocks at the narrowest point of the creek. At 34.2 m (112 ft) clear span, the structure is quite possibly the second largest extant arch bridge by the Romans. It is 120 m (390 ft) long and 7 m (23 ft) wide.

Roadway flanked by ancient columns
The Severan Tondo, a tondo of the four members of the Severan family, to whom the four columns of the bridge were dedicated. However, after Caracalla had his brother Geta murdered and had his memory damned, Geta's column was removed (and his image smeared off of the tondo, bottom left).

The bridge was built by four Commagenean cities in honor of the Roman Emperor Lucius Septimius Severus (193–211), his second wife Julia Domna, and their sons Caracalla and Publius Septimius Geta as stated on the inscription in Latin on the bridge. The Legio XVI Gallica, garrisoned in the ancient city of Samosata (today Samsat) to begin a war with Parthia constructed the bridge. There were originally four Corinthian columns on the bridge, two columns on the Kâhta side dedicated to Septimius Severus himself and his wife, and two more on the Sincik side dedicated to Caracalla and Geta, all in 9–10 m in height. Geta's column, however, was removed after his assassination by his brother Caracalla, who damned Geta's memory and ordered his name to be removed from all inscriptions.

The Severan Bridge is situated within one of the most important national parks in Turkey, which contains Nemrut Dağı with the famous remains of Commagene civilization on top, declared as World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO. In 1997, the bridge was restored. Vehicular traffic was restricted to 5 tons or less. The bridge is now closed to vehicles, and a new road bridge has been built 500 m (550 yd) east of the old bridge.

Further reading

See also

Media related to Severan Bridge at Wikimedia Commons

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