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February 5, 2015

...like losing an old friend

By Alex Bazeos
Last Sunday I heard on the news that the famous Plaka bridge in Epirus, northern Greece, which existed for 150 years as one of the most impressive samples of Greek popular architecture, had collapsed. A flash flood, as a result of heavy rainfall in the area, caused the Arachthos River over which it spanned, to rip the bridge's foundations from the riverbanks, leading the central section of the bridge to collapse and be washed away.

I was quite shocked to hear the news, as I have a special affection for these kind of bridges, I must say it felt a bit like losing an old friend… We had visited the area a couple of times in the past but as our last visit was before the year 2000, back in 2011 we decided that it was time to do some “proper” visit again. Visited the bridge for three days in a row and enjoyed the scenery amid some wonderful spring weather. Needless to say that now after the collapse I feel really lucky to have been there and photograph that wonderful monument in all its glory and though my photos are as far from "art items" as it gets, they are pretty valuable to me!

Thankfully after the collapse the response of both state representatives and civilians was immediate and overwhelming and all experts agreed that rebuilding it was feasible and should be done as soon as possible. In fact they said that they’ll try to recover as much of the original material as possible from the river when it calms down. Many privateers have offered financial support and the National Institute of Technology offered to do the whole rebuilt-study for free, so we all hope that before too long the new Plaka bridge will stand proud again in its old position.

So this is a small tribute to an "old friend" that seems to have passed away but hopefully will "resurrect" soon...

Photographer +Alex Bazeos