Viaducts – bridges formed with regular arches, were already built by the ancient Romans. You can find them all over the world, some of which have existed for several centuries. When looking at them, not only admirers of technical monuments, but also ordinary tourists hold their breath. Their construction combines power, elegance, history, and in addition they are set in a beautiful natural scenery.
You don’t have to drive all the way to the Alps for beautiful railway viaducts, you can also enjoy them in our country. One of the most beautiful railway viaducts, which is included in the list of national technical monuments, is located in Smržovka on the Liberec – Tanvald line.
The construction of the bridge begun by Italian builders in 1893 was ceremoniously put into operation on October 11 of the following year. The viaduct consists of nine bridge arches, it is approximately 123 metres long and has a maximum height of 26.5 metres. It is built in an arc with a radius of 1800 metres and the width of the bridge deck in the rail bed is 4.9 metres. Quality granite was chosen for the construction, which met the necessary requirements for strength and appearance. An admirable work by experienced Italian bridge builders was in operation without major construction modifications for almost 113 years. At the beginning of the 21st century, water soaked through the masonry, vegetation took roots in the joints and vertical cracks were formed in the masonry of the pillar. As part of the overall reconstruction of the bridge in 2007 and 2008, it was necessary to insulate the granite masonry, repair it by grouting, and place special arch formwork in the place of cracks. As part of the renovation, a new railing was also installed on the outside, thus achieving maximum use of the width of the viaduct.
Other Czech viaducts
Probably the most famous Czech railway viaduct is located in Prague. Negrelli Viaduct connects Masaryk Railway Station with Bubny via the isle of Štvanice, and is historically the first Prague railway bridge over the Vltava and also the longest railway bridge in the Czech Republic. The viaduct from the mid 19th century consists of 87 arches and it is 1110 metres long. Later, the bridge was completed by the Karlín connecting viaduct on the south side.
The Žampachy Viaduct, 41.5 metres high, is one of the highest stone railway viaducts in Central Europe. It rises on seven arches over the Kocour Valley near Jílové by Prague, on the Vraná nad Vltavou – Čerčany line. The viaduct from 1900 is 109 metres long.
The Sychrov Viaduct is a two-storey stone railway viaduct located near the village of Sychrov. The bridge, built in the middle of the 19th century, has eight arches, measures 120 metres and is 32 metres high.
Liberec Semmering or the ringing viaduct, so is called the railway bridge, leads over Kryštofovo Údolí, probably the most picturesque village in the Liberec Region. The viaduct, which has been in use since 1900, is led in an arc and has 14 support columns. It is 127 metres long and 29 metres high.
Interesting European viaducts
The largest brick bridge in the world is the Göltzschtal Viaduct in Germany. The unique work, completed in 1851, consists of a total of 98 arches on four floors one above the other. It is 574 metres long and 98 metres high.
The Krausel-Klause Viaduct is located on the legendary Austrian Semmering railway. It is 87 metres long and 36 metres high. The route has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998.