• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 List of Illustrations
 Title Page
 Chapter I
 Chapter II
 Chapter III
 Chapter IV
 Chapter V
 Chapter VI
 Chapter VII
 Chapter VIII
 Chapter IX
 English Bridges
 Back Cover
 Spine














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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
    List of Illustrations
        List of Illustrations
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Chapter I
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    Chapter II
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
    Chapter III
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
    Chapter IV
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
    Chapter V
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
    Chapter VI
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
    Chapter VII
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
    Chapter VIII
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
    Chapter IX
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
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        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
    English Bridges
        Page 195
        Page 196
    Back Cover
        Page 197
        Page 198
    Spine
        Page 199
Full Text







LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.



PAGE
CROSSw G STxEA oN RnEDS ......................... 1
NATURAL BRIDGE 01 Iooo10 O ...... .......... .......... 6
NATURAL BRIDOE-VIRoGIIA ......................... 10
RoP. BRIDGE ... ................................. 21
SLIDING BRIDGE OF ROPES ........... .............. 30
CANS BaIoz, CIYLON .......... ....... ....... ..... 37
FLYING BRIDOG ....................... ............ 39
BuIDI o1 BOATS ................... ..... ......... 51
WooODa BRIDO OVER TBi RHINE ..................... 55
BlraDG AT NORWIoH-CONmOTIOCT .............. ...... 64
DSVILr' BaoDm .................................. 117
CHINma BRID ................................... 119
GoTrnH BRID-u-CaoYLAeD ......................... 128
PoNT T PRIDD-WALu ............................... 16
MnAI TUBULAR BRaD ................ ......... 182
SUrapssIoN-BRIDEZ-PESrH .......................... 189






THE




BOOK OF BRIDGES.



BY THX AUTHOR OF
WONDERR OF THE SEA-8HORN," "WONDHIlk O0 TH ANIMAL
KINGDOM," ETC.





PUrLISrHD UNDER THE DIRECTION~ OF
TRE COMMITTEE OF GENERAL LITERATURE AVP EDUCATION
APPOINTED BT THRE OCITT FOR, VlAdbTEl
CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDOB.






LONDON:
PRINTED VoR
THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHBRISTIN ENOWLIDGS;
SOLD AT THE DXPOSISO.,
oGAT 91QUrE-TRA, LIICOLS IM-PULMs, At IITAIL ZE BAli
AND BY ALL B00OOKLLI*l.
1850.



















































WNDON

Pnoted by a. h J.3BBOT, aM O r WI.,.
SAVIoI HNOU. BbM Lao..






THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


H:O1SN1 hl4K&M CO$ RflUs


CHAPTER I.

HOWEVER suitable to the occasional wants of
man, might be the use of a bundle of reeds, or of
a log of wood, or of a rude canoe, for the purpose
of crossing a narrow stream which lay near his
dwelling, still the inconvenience of this mode
would be so great, that his ingenuity would be
called into exercise to procure some permanent
way of reaching the opposite side, and, most
probably, the first simple bridge was nothing
r B


_, 1 in




THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


more than a fallen tree. A second tree, laid by
its side, would increase the accommodation; and
soon a third, or more, would be added to make a
safe way of communication for the women and
children, and to allow also for the passage of cat-
tle. The stepping-stones, and fragments of rocks,
in shallow brooks and rivers, no doubt suggested
the first idea of piers, which Science has now
brought to such perfection. In deeper rivers,
stones piled upon each other would form a loftier
pier; and when the spaces were sufficiently nar-
row to allow it, slabs of stone would be laid, on
which the untaught architect would form a road
from pier to pier. No mention of a bridge is to
be found in the Old Testament; and the earliest
notice in history is of that stated by Herodotus
to have been built by Queen Nitocris, across the
Euphrates at Babylon, to connect the two por-
Stions of the city divided by the river. According
to that historian, this work consisted of squared
beams laid along the tops of a series of stone piers,
which were built in the bed of the river, the
waters having been for a time diverted from their
channel to admit of this being done. Some of





NATURAL BRIDGES.


the beams composing the road-way were removed
every evening, to prevent the inhabitants of the
two banks from robbing one another. Such must
have been the formation of all bridges previous to
the application of the arch.
The precise period of the discovery of the arch
has been much disputed. Two masses of stone,
or two trees mutually supporting each other over
a chasm, by being wedged together, might na-
turally enough have suggested the general prin-
ciple of the arch; and this must have been known
from the earliest times. Even three or four stones
may have been placed in this form, and made
mutually to support each other without requiring
any great effort of ingenuity. Arches of this
simple form are now known to exist in the Pyra-
mids of Egypt.
But an arch, in the proper sense of the word,
implies many separate stones arranged to support
one another in a curve. The Etruscans were ac-
quainted with it; and the great sewers of ancient
Rome, generally referred to the supposed period
of the Tarquins (about 600 years B.c.) are the
oldest works existing in which the arch is





THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


found. It was never applied by the Greeks in
bridge-architecture; and until the Emperor Ha-
drian built a bridge over the Cephisus, there
was no means of crossing the river but by boats,
during the most flourishing period of the Athe-
nian Republic. To the Chinese the secret of the
arch appears to have been known from time im-
memorial; they certainly used the arch long
before it was thought of in' Europe. It covers
the gateways in their great wall; and they
availed themselves of it in the construction
of monuments to their illustrious dead. Monu-
mental and triumphal arches are said to be
scattered in such numbers over the face of the
country as to give a character to the scenery;
and it is not a little remarkable that the arch
should have been erected in honour of illustrious
men both by the Chinese and the Romans. In
the formation of bridges it was also used. Kircher,
in his China Illustrata," tells us of stone bridges
in China three and four miles long, and an arch
six hundred feet in span.
From the Etruscans the secret of the arch
passed to the Romans, and was employed by them





NATURAL BRIDGES.


in the construction of bridges over the Tiber
and in building aqueducts, the mighty remains
of which still form the wonder and admiration
of the traveller. These will be again mentioned
in the course of this little work, but we shall
now proceed to give a short description of some
of the arches formed by Nature, which in many
instances serve as bridges where human skill would
have been exercised in vain. Of these the most
remarkable one in the known world is in South
America. The chain of the Andes, where the
natural bridge of Icononzo is situated, presents
most striking natural wonders in the immense
clefts, which sometimes separate two continuous
masses of mountains, and which in some instances
are near five thousand feet deep. If Mount Ve-
suvius could be placed in one of these frightful
abysses, its summit would not reach to the peaks
of the highest rocks on each side. The valley
of Icononzo is less remarkable for its dimensions
than for the extraordinary form of its rocks, which
seem as if they had been cut by the hand of man.
Their naked and dry summits form a most pic-
turesque contrast with the tufts of trees and





THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


NATURAL BRIDOG OF IOUNONZO.


shrubs, which cover the borders of the clefts. A
little torrent has made its way through the valley,





NATURAL BRIDGES. 7
and lies sunk in a channel, which is so difficult
of approach that the river would hardly be pass-
able if Nature had not formed two bridges of
rock, which are justly regarded as the greatest
curiosity in that country. Baron Humboldt and
Bonpland crossed these natural bridges in 1801,
on their route from Santa F6 de Bogota to
Popayon and Quito.
The region in which the valley of Icononzo is
situated, is, even in its lowest parts, raised to an
immense height above the level of the sea. The
bottoms of some of its deepest valleys are within a
fourth part of the elevation of the Alpine passes
of Mount St. Gothard and Mount Cenis. The
bridges of Icononzo are placed at a height of
about three thousand feet above the ocean. The
little mountain torrent which frets its way in the
bottom of the cleft, is called the Rio de la Summa
Paz, and is at a depth of about three hundred and
fifteen feet below the upper bridge. This is
formed of an unbroken mass of rock, attached to,
and making part of, the sand-stone, of which the
elevation on both sides is composed. It is forty-
seven feet and a half in length, and its breadth is





THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


about forty-one feet and a half. The thickness
of the mass at the centre is not quite eight feet.
The natives have fixed a rudely-formed balustrade
of canes along its edges, which enables persons
passing it to look over without danger. The
other bridge is about twenty yards lower down,
and is formed of three large pieces of rock, the
central one of which acts as the key of the arch,
and supports the other two." This accidental
position (as Humboldt remarks,) might have sug-
gested to the natives of America an idea of the
construction of the arch. "I will not," he con-
tinues, "pronounce a decided opinion as to
whether these masses of rock have been hurled
thither from some distance, or are merely the
fragments of an arch which had been broken
without being removed from its place, and which
was originally of the same kind with the bridge
higher up. This last supposition is rendered pro-
bable by an accidental arch, which has occurred in
the ruins of the Colosseum at Rome. In a wall
which has half fallen down, several stones are
stopped in their descent, in consequence of having
accidentally formed an arch as they fell." In the




NATURAL BRIDGES.


middle of this second bridge there is a hole of
about ninety square feet in area, through which
you can see the bottom of the abyss below. The
torrent seems as if it flowed away into a dusky
cavern, and a mournful sound falls on the ear,
proceeding from a multitude of night birds that
dwell in the dusky cleft, and are to be seen in
thousands hovering over the water. It is impos-
sible, however, to catch any of them, and the only
mode of obtaining anything like a distinct view of
them, is by throwing down squibs or torches to
procure a momentary light. They were described
by the Indians as being about the size of a hen,
having the eyes of an owl, and with crooked beaks.
They called them Cacas.
The Baron mentions two or three other bridges
of natural formation which bear some resem-
blance to those of Icononzo, but he remarks, that
it is doubtful whether in any part of the world
a phenomenon so extraordinary exists, as that
of the three masses of rock at Icononzo, which
support each other by forming a natural arch.
In the State of Virginia is a very remarkable
rock-bridge, which is thus described by Mr.





THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


NATURAL BRIDOGE-VIRGINIA.

Jefferson in his Notes on Virginia." He calls it
the Natural Bridge." It is on the ascent of a




NATURAL BRIDGES.


hill which seems to have been cloven through its
length by some great convulsion of Nature. Its
height is two hundred and thirteen feet, its breadth
at bottom about fifty feet, and at top about ninety
feet. The passage over it is about sixty feet
wide, and the thickness of the mass at the summit
of the arch about forty feet. A part of this
thickness is formed by a coat of earth, which gives
growth to many large trees. The rest, with the
hill on both sides, is solid rock of limestone. The
arch approaches the semi-elliptical form. Though
the sides of this bridge are provided in some
parts with a parapet of fixed rocks, yet few peo-
ple have resolution to walk to them, and look
over into the abyss. "You involuntarily fall on
your hands, creep to the parapet, and peep over
it. Looking down from tiis height about a mi-
nute gave me a violent headache." The view
from below of this light and elegant arch is ex-
tremely striking. This bridge is in the county of
Rockbridge, to which it has given name, and
affords a public and commodious passage over a
valley, which cannot be crossed elsewhere for a
considerable distance.




THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


Under the arch, thirty feet from the water, the
lower part of the letters G W may be seen carved
in the rock. When Washington was a young
man he climbed up thither to leave a record of his
visit. A young man, named Blacklock, accompa-
nied by two friends, visited this natural bridge.
Being also desirous of commemorating his visit, he
climbed the highest part of the rock opposite to
the part selected by Washington, but much higher.
This was a place very easy to ascend, but, what the
young man did not calculate upon, impossible to
come down. He was forty feet or more from the
path; his footing was precarious: he was weary
with holding on while carving his name, and his head
began to swim when he saw the impossibility of
getting down again. He called to his companions
that his only chance was to climb up upon the
bridge without hesitation or delay. They saw this,
and with anguish agreed within themselves that
the chance was a very hopeless one. They cheered
him, and advised him to look neither up nor
down. On he went, slanting upwards from under
the arch, creeping round a projection, on which
no foothold is visible from below, and then disap-





NATURAL BRIDGES.


pearing in a recess filled up with foliage. They
long waited, watching for motion, and listening
for crashing among the trees. He must now have
been one hundred and fifty feet above them. At
length their eyes were so strained that they could
look no more; and they had almost lost all hope,
for there seemed little doubt but that he had fallen
while behind the trees, where his body would
never be found. They went up to try the chance
of looking down from above, and found him lying
insensible on the bridge. He could just remember
reaching the top when he immediately fainted.
Ovalle, a Spanish priest, who travelled in South
America in the sixteenth century, gives a most
romantic account of a bridge in Chili. There
is," he says, a river called the Rio de Mendoca,
which comes down from the east, not inferior
to that of Aconcaqua in Chile, which runs to the
west into the South Sea. Into these two rivers
are emptied most of the little streams of the
mountains. That of Mendoca meeting in its way
with a chalky mountain, bores it quite through,
and leaves a natural bridge broad enough for
three or four carts to pass abreast. Under this





THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


bridge is a great table of rock, over which run
five different streams of water, proceeding from
so many fountains; which water is extremely hot
and very good for many distempers. The stones
over which it runs, are of a green-like emerald.
The vault of this bridge surpasses in beauty all
that human art can produce; for there hang down
from it several icicles, in the shape of flowers,
and pendants of stone-like salt. For the hu-
midity which penetrates from above, makes it
congeal like points of diamonds, and other figures,
which adorn this vault; through which there falls
perpetually a quantity of great drops as big as
peas some, and others as big as yolks of eggs;
which, falling upon the stone table I have men-
tioned, are turned into stones of several shapes
and colours, of no small value. There is," he
adds, another bridge on the other side, called
Juga's bridge, because, as is most probable, his
generals were the first discoverers of it, and passed
over it, for it is not possible that any human art
could make so bold an attempt as has been
brought to pass by the Author of Nature in this
place. The bridge is formed by a most prodigious





NATURAL BRIDGES. 10

high rock, which is cloven in two as it had
been sawed down, only covered on the top;
it is hollow to the very river, which is large and
rapid, and yet the noise of it is no more heard on
the top than if it were a little brook. I my-
self went to the side of this bridge and looked
down, though with great horror, for it strikes a
shivering into one to contemplate such a depth,
than which I have not seen a more terrible one."
A bridge somewhat of this description is to be
seen in the neighbourhood of Clermont, in that
part of France which was formerly called Au-
vergne. Here are wells, the waters of which pos-
sess such a quality, that any substance laid on them
soon contracts a stony crust. The most remark-
able of these is at St. Allier, which has formed
a famous stone bridge mentioned by many his-
torians. This bridge is a solid rock composed of
several strata, formed during the course of many
years by the running of the petrifying waters of
this spring. It has no cavity or arches till after
about sixty paces in length, where the rivulet
of Tiretaines forces it way through. This petri-
fying spring, which falls on a much higher ground





THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


than the bed of the rivulet, gradually leaves be-
hind it some stony matter, which in process of
time has thus formed an arch through which the
Tiretaine has a free passage. When the arch
was formed, the water of the spring produced a
new petrifaction, resembling a pillar. The in-
habitants of these parts, in order to lengthen this
wonderful bridge, diverted the brook out of its
old channel, and making it pass close by the
pillar, caused it to form a second arch. They
might have thus produced as many arches and
pillars as they pleased; but the great resort of
people to see this natural curiosity became trou-
blesome to the Benedictines of the Abbey of St.
Allier, within whose jurisdiction the spring lies;
they divided the stream into several branches,
which has so well answered their purpose, that
at present it only covers with a thin crust those
bodies on which it falls perpendicularly. In those
over which it runs in an ordinary course no
traces of its petrifying qualities are any longer
perceivable.
A remarkable natural pass divides the island of
Serk into Great and Little Serk. Little Serk is





NATURAL BRIDGES. 17

a portion of table-land, amounting to about one-
eighth of the island, and in going to it from
Great Serk, you have to pass (says Mr. Inglis)
along a narrow isthmus, nearly two hundred yards
long, and four or five feet broad, with precipices
on either side of about three hundred feet down
to the sea. On one side the descent is perpen-
dicular, on the other so precipitous, that one
would be more rash than bold in attempting a
descent. The connecting ridge is a solid
rock."
About two miles from Bowes in Yorkshire,
there is a natural bridge over the river Greta,
called God's Bridge," formed by a rude arch
of limestone rock sixteen feet in the span,
and twenty feet broad at the top, along which
carriages usually pass.
The river Caldew in Cumberland is crossed by
a natural bridge of limestone, the stream then
dashes impetuously over the rocks, and forms two
fine cascades, by the sides of which are singular
excavations called the "Fairies' Kirk," and the
" Fairies' Kettle." At Halt Close Bridge, the
river enters upon a subterraneous course, which





THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


it continues for the apace of four miles, when it
emerges at a place called Spouts Dubsie.
A natural bridge of limestone, called Pont de
l'Arc, spans the river Arddche, near Nismes, in
France; it is open to a height of ninety feet
above it, and is one hundred and sixty feet wide.
It was once the common line of passage from
the Vivarais into the Cevennes, and was fortified
during the religious wars.
The bridges of ice which, with a little trouble
from human aid, form the means of communi-
cation on the river Neva at St. Petersburg, may
almost be termed natural bridges. The ice is
smoothed for this purpose, and the bridge is
then planted on each side with rows of fir-
branches, which, being stuck upright, and having
a green leafy appearance, give the scene a very
singular aspect. Ir walking or driving along
these ice bridges, it is scarcely possible to imagine
that one is crossing a broad and impetuous river,
which in a short tirne will be covered with vessels
of large size. One of these bridges thus plant-
ed is formed from St. Petersburg to Cronstadt,
right across the gulf, and, as the distance is great,





NATURAL BRIDGES. 19

a house of refreshment is fixed half way. In
consequence of the great traffic on these bridges,
they acquire so firm a consistency, that they do
not thaw so soon as the surrounding ice; and
people may often be seen crossing the river on
them while boats are sailing on each side. The
police prevent these attempts as much as possible,
and frequently have to cudgel the common peo-
ple to prevent them from risking their lives.





THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


CHAPTER II.

THE early inhabitants of almost all moun-
tainous countries adopted many ingenious contri-
vances to enable them to journey from one spot to
another, in spite of the serious natural obstacles
in their way. As we have supposed a fallen tree
to have served as a model for the earliest bridge,
so the slender stem of a creeping plant swinging
from bank to bank, may have suggested the pos-
sibility of suspending a rope bridge.
Where a river was too wide to be spanned by
timber beams in one length, and where the rapi-
dity of the current, or other circumstances, pre-
vented the erection of piers, such a mode of com-
munication would be both safe and desirable.
The ancient Peruvians, though they constructed
wooden bridges supported by piers of stone, most
commonly satisfied themselves with more simple




ROPE BRIDGES.


ones formed of rope. In speaking of the magni-
ficent roads made by the Incas along the Andes,


ROPE BRIDGE.

Dr. Robertson says that the rivers which crossed
these ways were passed in the high grounds by
these rope bridges. He justly remarks, that at
the time when the Spaniards entered Peru, no




THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


kingdom in Europe could boast of any work
of public utility that could be compared with
these great roads. At the present day it is by a
simple bridge of ropes of great length, on which
travellers pass with loaded mules, that a perma-
nent communication has been established between
Quito and Lima, after 40,0001. sterling had
been uselessly expended to build a stone bridge
near Santa; the violence of the torrent which
rushes from the Cordilleras in the Andes utterly
preventing the completion of any other than this
early contrivance of savage life.
Baron Humboldt gives a description of one seen
by him near Penipe in South America, which was
formed of a peculiar species of ropes made from
the fibrous roots of the American Agave, and
which were from three to four inches in diameter.
These ropes were attached at each side of the
river to a rude scaffolding of trees, composed
principally of two strong upright posts, strength-
ened below by smaller supports. Passing across from
the two posts on one side to the two on the other,
the ropes formed a pathway about eight feet
broad, overlaid with small pieces of bamboo placed




ROPE BRIDGES.


across; one strong rope formed a kind of rail on
each side. As the weight of the bridge would
pull the scaffolding inwards and downwards to the
river, the structure was kept in its place by ropes
passing outwards, or landwards, from the upright
posts to the ground. As the bridgeway was of
great height, these ropes ran to the ground at a
sharp inclination, and thus the bridge had to be
ascended by a kind of ladder, or stairs. This rope
bridge was one hundred and twenty-seven feet
long. Baron Humboldt says that the danger of
crossing these is not very great, if a single person
runs as quickly as possible, throwing the body
forward. But the oscillations of the ropes be-
come very violent if you are conducted by an
Indian, who walks much quicker than you do,
or if, affrighted by the appearance of the water
seen through the interstices of the bamboos, you
are imprudent enough to stop in the middle, and
lay hold of the ropes which serve for balustrades.
This waving motion might be much diminished
by lateral ropes fastened to the middle of the
bridge, and stretching diagonally by the banks.
In General Millar's memoirs is the following





THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


interesting account of crossing one of these frail
roadways: -" The Maypo is a torrent which
rushes from a gorge of the Andes. The only
bridge over it is made of what may be called hide
cables. It is about two hundred and fifty feet
long, and just wide enough to admit a carriage.
It is upon the principle of suspension, and con-
structed where the banks of the river are so bold
as to furnish natural piers. The figure of the
bridge is nearly that of an inverted arch. Formed
of elastic materials, it rocks a good deal when pas-
sengers go over it. In the passage of the troops
and artillery, the infantry passed without the
least difficulty, by going a few at a time-each
man leading his horse. When the artillery, how-
ever, came up, doubts were entertained of the
possibility of getting across. Captain Miller
offered to conduct the first gun. The timber was
taken off and drag-ropes were fastened to the
washers, to prevent the gun from descending too
rapidly. The trail, carried foremost, was held up
by two gunners, but, notwithstanding every pre-
caution, the bridge swung from side to side, and
the carriage acquired so much velocity, that the




ROPE BRIDGES.


gunners who held up the trail, assisted by Captain
Miller, lost their balance, and the gun upset. The
carriage becoming entangled in the thong balus-
trade, was prevented from falling into the river;
but the platform of the bridge acquired an incli-
nation almost perpendicular, and all upon it were
obliged to cling to whatever they could catch hold
of, to save themselves from being precipitated into
the current which rolled and foamed sixty feet
below. For some little time none dared go to the
relief of the party thus suspended, because it was
supposed that the bridge would snap asunder, and
it was expected that in a few moments all would
drop into the abyss beneath. As nothing material
gave way, the alarm on shore subsided, and two
or three men ventured on the bridge to give assist-
ance. The gun was dismounted with great diffi-
culty, the carriage dismantled, and conveyed piece-
meal to the opposite shore. The rest of the ar-
tillery, we may add, then turned back, and crossed
at a ford four or five leagues lower down the river."
A bridge of this description over a considerable
river, between Lima and Cusco, is stated to have
been two hundred and forty-eight feet long, and





THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


nine feet wide. The suspension cables were at-
tached on each side of the river, to vast stone rings,
or rather through holes worked in the living rock.
It was carried away in 1819, when the river rose
suddenly to such a height as to reach the bridge.
The basket bridges in America are another
means of passing rivers in sometimes very fre-
quented places. These are made either of bejucos,
or bullocks' hides. The bejucos is a coarse kind of
plant common to the country, which is used for all
the purposes of ropes. Where the river is very
narrow and has high rocks on each side, three or
four planks of wood are laid across, forming a path
about a yard and a half in breadth, just sufficient
for a man to pass over on horseback; and custom
has made these so familiar, that the people cross
them without any apprehension. The bridges of
bejucos are only used where the breadth of the
river will not admit of beams being laid across.
In their construction, several bejucos are twisted
together, in order to form a large cable. Six of
these cables are stretched across the river-two
higher than the rest to serve as hand-rails. Across
the others are wattled cross-sticks of bejucos, and





ROPE BRIDGES.


the whole resembles a fishing net, or Indian ham-
mock. As the meshes of this net are very large,
and the foot would be in danger of slipping
through, they strew reeds on them to serve as a
kind of floor. The reader will easily conceive,"
says M. Bouguer, "that the mere weight of this
kind of basket-machine, and much more the
weight of a man passing over, must cause it to
make a prodigious bend; and if it be considered
that the passenger, when he is in the midst of his
course, especially if there be much wind, is ex-
posed to wide swinging from side to side in pass-
ing such a bridge, which is sometimes nearly one
hundred feet long, it will be acknowledged that he
requires great courage; yet the Indians pass over
such bridges running, though loaded with the bag-
gage and pack-saddles of the mules, and laugh at
seeing the Europeans hesitate in venturing." Most
of these bridges are only for men and women, the
mules swimming over the rivers; their loading be-
ing taken off, they are driven into the water about
half a league above the bridge, and the rapidity
of the stream carries them down to the opposite
place of landing near it.





28 THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.
Some rivers, instead of a bejuco bridge, are
passed by means of a tarabita, or single rope,
made of thongs cut from the hide of an ox.
This rope, which is from six to eight inches
in thickness, is extended from one side of the
river to the other, and made firm on each bank
to strong posts. On one side it is fastened to a
wheel, that it may be straightened or slackened
to the degree required. From the tarabita hangs
a kind of leather hammock, suspended by a
clew at each end, and capable of holding one per-
son. A rope is also fastened and extended to the
sides of the river for drawing the hammock to the
side intended, which a push at its first setting off
sends quickly to the other side. This not only
serves to convey people and their luggage, but
also the beasts themselves, when the rapidity of
the stream, and the large stones continually hur-
ried along by it, render it impracticable or
dangerous for them to swim across. For trans-
porting mules, two tarabitas are employed: from
these the animal is suspended, secured by girths
round the neck and belly; these girths are fas-
tened to a clew of wood. The creature is shoved





ROPE BRIDGES.


off, and speedily landed on the other side. The
animals, who are accustomed to be conveyed in
this way make not the least opposition, but even
come of their own accord to have the girths fas-
tened on them; but it is with difficulty done at
first, and when they find themselves suspended
they kick and fling during the whole passage.
A Dindla, or sliding bridge of ropes, is a kind of
communication very commonly used in India. It
is composed of three or four strong Munga ropes,
formed of a sort of grass, upon which a small
frame, like a bedstead, is made to traverse by
means of a couple of hoops. On this machine
passengers are seated, and conveyed to either side
by ropes worked on both banks.-Captain Turner
mentions a simple but curious method of com-
munication, for the accommodation of single pas-
sengers between the mountains in Thibet. Two
long ropes are stretched across, and on these runs
a hoop. The traveller seats himself in this hoop,
and holding by the ropes, slides himself along,
thus perhaps crossing an abyss down which he
cannot look without shuddering.
The late Captain Gerard, in his account of





30 THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.

Koonawur, a country lying on both banks of the
Sutledge river in India, speaks of the rope bridges


SLIDING BRIDOG OF LOPJS.


there to be found. The Jhoola, or rope bridge,
consists of five or six cables, formed of a sort of
grass named Moonja. These are placed close
together, and above is half a hollow piece of fir-




ROPE BRIDGES. S1
tree, secured by pegs driven through below; from
this hangs a loop of three or four ropes, which
serves as a seat for passengers, and also as a
receptacle for baggage. This block is pulled
across by two pieces of twine, and the conveyance
is pretty safe, but greatly alarming to a person
unused to it, as the stream rushes with frightful
rapidity beneath. The longest bridge of this
kind that he crossed, was under Rampoor, where
the river is two hundred and eleven feet broad.
At Wangtoo it is but ninety-two feet, but the
velocity of the stream is so great, that two of his
servants who once crossed it, were so afraid that
they would not venture again, and preferred
swimming over; one of them reached the opposite
bank with difficulty, being completely exhausted,
and the other was drowned. The torrents that
descend from snow are generally very rapid, and
are so quickly swelled by showers, that there is a
bridge of some kind over almost every channel.
The bridge in the Himalayas, called Suzum, is
formed of twigs, very indifferently twisted; there
are five or six cables for the feet to rest upon, and
side ropes, about four feet above the others, to




THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


hold by, connected with the lower ones by open
wicker-work, or ribs, one or two feet apart. The
side ropes are at a most inconvenient distance
from each other, and in one place they are so far
asunder that a person cannot reach both with
his extended arms. The ropes, from being con-
structed of such frail materials, do not bear much
stretching, and the bridge forms a curve the sixth
part of a circle. Frequent accidents have oc-
curred, and," says Captain Gerard, "only a month
before I crossed in August last, two people were
lost by one of the side ropes giving way. The
guides that accompanied me did not tell me of
this, until they saw ten or twelve of my loaded
followers on the bridge at once. I was standing
on the bank at this time, and the news of the late
accident spread rapidly; some of my people were
so much alarmed, that they could move neither
one way nor the other, and stood trembling for a
long time. Two, in greater terror than the rest,
precipitated my tent into the Sutledge: this was
the only accident. The rope bridges are used
at large rivers; but there are various wooden
bridges, all called Sango, over the smallest stream.





ROPE BRIDGES.


The most formidable I crossed," continues Captain
Gerard, consisted of a single spar of wood, not
a foot in breadth, thrown from stock to rock across
a chasm ninety feet deep; two or three trees,
with boards nailed across, are common, and now
and then there is a round tree with notches, in an
inclined position; but the moat usual is a couple
of spars with bunches of twigs, or slates laid
across; some of those have a great slope to one
side, and they are often slippery from being
washed by the spray of the stream. Few of the
small bridges have supports to raise them much
above the water, so they are consequently carried
away almost every year; some of them are indeed
swept down whenever there is a heavy fall of
rain, and the passenger is perhaps detained four
or five days, for want of a Sango across a stream
not forty feet broad. It would not require much
outlay to build more permanent bridges over the
lesser torrents; some expense, which nobody likes
to defray, would be at first incurred in construct-
ing buttresses; but this would be the principal
charge, as the finest timbers are found in most
places. The only permanent bridges over the





U THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.
river Sutledge are eighty miles apart. The want
of them is severely felt by the inhabitants; but
although a good Sango would cost but five or six
hundred rupees, in spite of the inconvenience the
people are put to, they will not subscribe this
sum to replace one which gave way in 1816 by
the decay of the rock that supported it."
Single people sometimes cross the Jhoola by
means of a forked stick, made to traverse the
cables of a rope bridge: a slack rope is tied to the
ends of the forks, forming a double, that supports
the person's back, which is bound round with a
blanket, and he warps himself over on his hands
and feet. This plan cannot, of course, be adopted
by people with baggage. In this case a tempo-
rary bridge is made, in perhaps. one of the most
dangerous spots possible. It is formed of spars
of wood laid from one stone to another, at a place
where there are several large rocks in the midst of
the river: these are so smooth from being under
water for some months, that almost every year
two or three people slip off them, and are carried
down the stream, and never heard of more.
The Chukzum, or chain-bridge, is used where





ROPE BRIDGES.


the rivers are very broad: the first syllable sig-
nifies iron, and the last bridge. Small rafts
formed of two or more boats, on which a platform
has been laid, are also used where the current is
not too strong.
The hill people in the Nepaul country use
swinging bridges, called Jhula, over rivers and
torrents. These are formed of ropes of about six
inches in circumference, formed of a species of
grass called Baeeh. Some of these bridges are
ninety to one hundred feet in length, composed
of twenty ropes, suspended where the banks are
high. The ropes are either fastened to large
trees, felled and laid behind rocks, or pass over a
wall erected for the purpose, and the ends fastened
to large stakes buried in the ground, or to slabs of
stone. The ropes have considerable drop, but
the floor is made nearly level, by being formed of
slight frames of split bamboos, resembling a ladder
suspended horizontally to the main cables.
Bishop Heber speaks of one over a torrent near
Benares, of one hundred and sixty feet span,
which stood a severe test during the inundations
of the preceding winter. The cordage might have





THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


been expected to suffer from the excessive rains,
particularly as a vast crowd of the neighboring
villagers took refuge on it as the only safe place
in the neighbourhood, and indeed almost the only
object which continued to hold itself above the
water.
Over a chasm in a mountain at Andaquallas,
in the South Seas, is an extraordinary bridge of
ropes, which, according to an account published
in Frezier's "Voyage to the South Seas in 1714,"
measures no less than seven hundred and twenty
feet between the points of suspension. There
is a very long rope bridge over the Ganges at
Seriangur two hundred and forty feet in
length.
Major Forbes, in his "History of Ceylon,"
describes a native suspension-bridge which was
formed of the cable rattan (as it is called), a cane
which is occasionally found three hundred yards in
length, and almost equally thick throughout. This
circumstance, combined with its light weight and
extreme toughness, makes it well adapted for the
purpose to which it was applied. A suspension-
bridge of this kind is commenced by fixing a





ROPE BRIDGES.


cane round two large trees growing on opposite
sides of the river, the diameter of their stems


CANE BRIDGE, CEYLON.

determining the breadth of the bridge. The
bridge is then supported by cane fastenings let
down from the branches of the trees; a hand-rail





THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


is added, and the road-way covered by bamboo
slips. The approach to this picturesque bridge
was by means of ladders tied together with the
jungle creeping-plants, which are everywhere to
be found in abundance, and supply the places
of both rope and nails in Kandian construc-
tions.
At Carrickarede, county Antrim, on the north-
ern coast of Ireland, an insulated portion of the
cliff is connected with the main land at certain
seasons of the year by means of a bridge of
ropes. Two strong cables, parallel to each other,
are fastened to rings inserted in the solid rock
on each side of the chasm, and the narrow space
between the ropes is covered by a boarded path-
way. Persons accustomed to pass by this dan-
gerous bridge safely venture over, but great risk
attends the inexperienced, as, if the foot be not
properly placed on the loose boards, they are
apt to turn over and precipitate the traveller
into the deep chasm below; yet during the fish-
ing season women and boys carry great loads
across with the most apparent ease. This in-
sulated rock interrupts the salmon, which annu-






ROPE BRIDGES.


ally coast along the shore in search of rivers to
deposit their spawn, so that Carrickarede is well


FLYING BRIDOL

situated for the fisherman's nets, and, from the
steepness of the cliffs, can be approached in no
other way.




THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


CHAPTER III.

WE will next consider bridges made of boats,
for the remotest ages of antiquity furnish us with
many remarkable instances of bridges of this
kind. They were made by laying wooden boats
side by side, and fastening them together with
stakes or anchors till they reached across a river
or stream. These were overlaid with planks.
One of the earliest upon record is that laid
by Darius Hystaspes over the Ister (Danube),
in his Scythian expedition, about the year before
Christ 508. Darius also crossed the Thracian
Bosphorus with seven hundred thousand men
by means of a bridge of boats, the strait being
five stadia (or one thousand and eight yards)
in breadth. That built by Xerxes, in the year
480 before Christ, was nearly a mile in length.
This bridge was made by him after he had deter-





BOAT BRIDGES.


mined to attack Greece, and it was laid over the
Hellespont, beginning at Abydos, and terminat-
ing a little below Sestos, for the purpose of
passing his forces from Asia into Europe.
The work was carried on with great expedi-
tion by the Phoenicians and Egyptians, but, when
finished, a violent storm arose, and destroyed it,
dispersing and dashing against the shore the
vessels of which it was composed. When Xerxes
heard of this, he fell into such a violent trans-
port of anger that he commanded three hun-
dred stripes to be inflicted on the sea, and a pair
of fetters to be thrown into it, enjoining those
who were trusted with the execution of his or-
ders, to pronounce these words: "Thou salt and
bitter element, thy master has condemned thee
to this punishment, for offending him without
cause! and is resolved to pass over thee in spite
of thy billows and insolent resistance." The
impious folly and madness of this prince did
not stop here; he commanded the heads of those
who had the direction of the work to be struck
off, and appointed more experienced architects
to build two other bridges, one for the army, and





THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


the other for the beasts of burden and the
baggage.
When all was in readiness, a day was appointed
for this mighty army to cross. At sunrise, all
sorts of perfume were burnt upon the bridge, the
way was strewed with myrtle. Xerxes, pouring
a libation into the sea, out of a golden cup, and
addressing the sun, implored the assistance of
that deity, that he might succeed in his enter-
prise. This done, he threw the cup into the
Hellespont, with a golden bowl, and a Persian
scimitar. The foot and horse began to pass over
that bridge which was next to the Euxine, while
the carriages and beasts of burden passed over
the other. The bridges were boarded, and co-
vered with earth, having rails on each side that
the horses and cattle might not be frightened at
the sight of the sea. This army was seven days
and nights in passing over, though it marched
day and night without intermission, and the men
were, by frequent blows, obliged to quicken their
pace. This may be considered the model of most
of the bridges of boats which have since been con-
structed, with this difference, that the vessels of





BOAT BRIDGES. 4a

Xerxes were arranged stem and stern upon the
water, a plan exactly contrary to the present
method.
The boats which Alexander used in passing
the Indus, were cut, some into two, others
into three pieces, transported to the banks of the
Hydaspes, and put together unperceived under
cover of a thick wood.
The Greeks and the Romans were very expert
in their construction of this mode of communica-
tion. The art is still in use wherever needed in
military warfare, and permanent bridges of boats
are frequently to be met with on the Conti-
nent, as a mode of communication for more peace-
able and useful purposes.
Modern armies carry copper or tin boats, called
pontoons, to be in readiness for making tem-
porary bridges. The Pontoon is a kind of low
flat vessel, somewhat resembling a lighter or
barge, formed of a wooden framework, and either
lined inside and outside with tin plates, or on the
outside only, with copper plates. There are two
sizes employed, the one measuring about twenty-
one feet in length by five wide, the other seven-





44 THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.
teen feet by four wide. These pontoons are to
act as substitutes for boats in building a bridge
of boats, or a "pontoon bridge," and are carried
with an army as part of its stores, when likely to
be necessary. Each pontoon is conveyed on a dis-
tinct wheel-carriage, formed for its reception;
and, with each one are stowed away all the
materials for one portion of the bridge; so that
a pontoon train consists not only of the pontoons,
but of all the materials required for the bridge.
A large pontoon with its carriage appurtenances,
weighs nearly two tons, and is drawn by six
horses. The train will occasionally consist of
fifty-six carriages, drawn by three hundred and
sixteen horses. Leather boats are also sometimes
used; hollow casks, inflated bladders, or sheaves
of rushes. These are laid on boggy or marshy
ground, and overlaid with planks for the passage
of troops.
Indeed, with ample means, it is astonishing to
what extent these floating bridges may be carried.
Amongst the bridges of the greatest celebrity in
modern times, may be named that which was
established across the Dnieper in 1739. Al-





BOAT BRIDGES.


though the river had overflowed, and inundated
two leagues of country, the Russians constructed
a bridge of boats across the whole breadth. The
Duke of Wellington, during the Peninsular war,
frequently had resort to this method of crossing
rivers. Amongst these, the construction of one
across the Adour in 1814, was perhaps the most
arduous undertaking. Up to this period, it was
thought impossible to form a bridge across the
river, on account of the constant agitation of the
sea in the channel, but the floating bridge of boats
constructed by the English remained stretched
across for more than two months.
Sometimes boats, casks, air-tight cases, and
bags, are all equally beyond the reach of an army,
or are not fitted for the object in view, when the
troops are about to cross a river. In such cases
a continuous raft of timber is constructed,
reaching from bank to bank; and if trees are
scarce, wood is procured by that sort of mili-
tary licence which the events of war so often
illustrate. Sir Howard Douglas, in his work on
military bridges, gives a remarkable instance of
this kind in connection with the Duke of Wel-





40 THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.
lington's campaigns in the Peninsula. When, in
July 1809, the British head-quarters were at
Placentia, it became necessary to secure the
means by which a junction might be formed with
Cuesta; and two companies were accordingly
ordered to construct a raft bridge over the river
Tietar at Baragona. The officer to whom the
execution of this duty was committed, could find
no materials for his bridge, except the timber
of a large inn and its outhouses, about a mile and
a half distant, and some pine-trees that grew in a
neighboring wood. The inn was thereupon un-
roofed, and all the available timbers appropriated,
including six large beams of dry fir, three or four
hundred rafters, six doors, and the mangers from
the stable. With the large beams was formed a
raft measuring twenty feet by twelve, capable of
supporting a flooring (made of the planks of the
manger), thirty feet in length. This raft occu-
pied the deepest part of the river, and was con-
nected with either bank by a flooring of the doors
and mangers, supported by poles driven into the
shallow bed of the river. A strong rope stretched
across the river, and secured at each end, kept




BOAT BRIDGES.


the raft in its place. On the singular raft bridge
thus constructed, the whole British force crossed
the river on the 18th of July. On another, but
similar occasion, when a British force wanted to
cross the river Alviella, in pursuit of Marshal
Ney's force, they pulled down an oil-mill to
furnish beams for a raft, and used the doors of
the houses, and the materials of the corn-chests
(which in Portugal are very large), for planking;
with these materials a communication was speed-
ily restored in a very ingenious manner, though
neither nails nor tools could be procured.
The Russians, in their wars against the Tartars
and Turks, have always been obliged to carry
across the deserts supplies of water, sufficient for
several days' consumption; and the casks, after
having served for this purpose, have been gene-
rally reserved for constructing rafts and bridges.
In such cases, each company took with it a large
barrel of water for its own use; and in order to
make the empty vessels available for the purposes
of a bridge, eight or ten planks were likewise
carried by the men of each company in turn.
Nine casks, each two feet long by two and a half





THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


in diameter in the largest part, supporting a
framework of timber nine feet long, is calculated,
when the floated casks are filled with air and
well corked, to bear a weight of nearly four
thousand pounds; and a bridge of such rafts
would bear cavalry in single, or infantry in
double file.
A Flying boat bridge is furnished with one or
more masts, to which is fastened a strong cable,
supported at different distances by boats, and ex-
tending to an anchor, to which the other end is
made fast in the middle of the water. By this
contrivance the bridge becomes movable, like a
pendulum, from one side of the river to the other,
without other help than a rudder. Such bridges
were formerly sometimes constructed of two sto-
ries, for the quicker passage of a great number
of men; or, that both infantry and cavalry might
pass at the same time. The use of this flying
bridge, is however, attended with great difficulty
and danger, and subject to the most fatal acci-
dents. An unfortunate instance of this kind
occurred at the evacuation of Nimeguen, in the
campaign of 1794, where, while the Dutch garrison





BOAT BRIDGES.


were occupied in crossing the river, an unlucky
shot from the French batteries carried away the
top of the mast, and the bridge swinging round
to the enemies' side of the Waal, above four
hundred of the garrison were made prisoners.
Those who remained in the tower, to a much
greater number, bereft of the means of escape,
surrendered to the besiegers.
A flying ferry bridge is formed by anchoring
a floating body in a river, so as to receive the
action of the stream obliquely; by which a force
is derived from the current to move the vessel
across the river on a cable, which passes through
it. The celebrated engineer, Mr. Rendel, gives an
anecdote which illustrates most remarkably the
strength which it.has been found practicable to
give to a fly bridge. The shipwright who built
the one that formerly plied in the Hamoaze be-
tween Torpoint and Devonport, being proud of
the great novelty he had finished, invited a party
of friends to witness the launch, which went off
with great spirit. It was the business of the builder
to place the bridge in the victualling yard, but a
short distance from the spot where it had been





J THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.
launched. With proper caution, the width of the
entrance had been measured, and found sufficient
for the bridge, but this measurement had been taken
at high water. The vatter (slope) of the pier-heads,
of course narrowed the width of the entrance as the
tide ebbed; so that, when the bridge was brought
to the basin, the entrance was found just too nar-
row, and being caught on the rapidly falling tide,
the bridge was literally suspended in mid-air for
eight or ten hours till the return tide. But not
a bolt or timber started under this severe ordeal !"
Permanent bridges of boats are very frequently
to be met with on the Rhine. At Mayence
there is a platform bridge resting on forty-seven
barges, moored in an even line in the water. By
this bridge of boats a ready and safe communica-
tion is kept up with Nassau, Frankfort, and
all other places on the right side of the Rhine.
Nearly on the same spot, Drusus the Roman
general formerly erected a stone bridge, long
since destroyed. Our space allows us to mention
but few instances of this mode of communication,
which still exists in many important places.
That part of the Danube which separates




BOAT BRIDGES.


Buda and Pesth is about twelve hundred feet
broad, and up to a very recent period was crossed
by a bridge of boats; but the Diet having re-


BRIDGE OF BOATS.
solved on constructing a permanent suspension
bridge, the present elegant structure now ren-
ders the communication between the two towns
more certain and more extensive. In another




THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


part, where the river is seven hundred feet wide,
and fifty to sixty feet deep, Peterwardin is con-
nected with the opposite town of Neusatz.
The city of Bagdad is divided into two parts by
the river Tigris, and the communication is kept
up between these by a bridge of thirty pontoons.
The river is here about seven hundred and fifty
feet wide.
Mungo Park mentions a rude kind of floating
bridge which he met with on a branch of the
Senegal river. The river at this place was smooth
but deep, and had little current. Two tall trees,
when tied together by the tops, are sufficiently
long to reach from side to side of the river, the
roots resting upon the rocks, the tops floating
in the water. When a few trees have been
placed in this direction, they are covered with
dry bamboos, so as to form a floating bridge, with
a sloping gangway at each end where the trees rest
upon the rocks. This bridge is carried away
every year by the swelling of the river in the
rainy season, and is constantly rebuilt by the
inhabitants of Manna, who, on that account, ex-
pect a small tribute from every passenger.





WOODEN BRIDGES.


CHAPTER IV.

THE most ancient method of constructing
bridges has been generally acknowledged to
have been by the use of timber. It was a ma-
terial always at hand, and as we have before re-
marked, in the form of the whole trunk of a tree
might be thrown from side to side of a stream,
and thus furnish a means of passing across it;
and the accommodation afforded would be improved
as men became more civilized. The earliest tim-
ber bridge on record, is that thrown by. Julius
Caesar over the Rhine, and described in the com-
mentaries of that great man. Palladio has given
a most ingenious design of this bridge founded on
Caesar's own description; as well as designs for
others of his own invention. One of these he built
over the Ceasirone, at the foot of the Alps, be-
tween Trento and Bassano in Italy. Its construc-





THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


tion is simple and ingenious, the whole being
suspended by the framing which forms the
sides.
Much on the same principle as this, was the
celebrated wooden bridge built over the Rhine
at Schaffhausen in 1758, and which was justly
thought to be the most celebrated one ever con-
structed. Although bridges built of stone are
of far greater number and importance than those
built of wood, yet as we have considered the
latter to be the earliest known, we will, before
proceeding to Bridges of Stone, give our readers
an account of some of the most remarkable of
those which have been constructed. Germany is
said to be the school for wooden bridges, and we
have already alluded to the one at Schaffhausen.
It was erected by a self-taught architect, a com-
mon carpenter, of the name of Ulric Gruben-
man. The rapid current of the river having gra-
dually undermined the piers of a stone bridge
at that place, it fell down in 1754, and as tim-
ber required fewer piers, and was not there-
fore so liable to the same destruction, it was
resolved to supply the place of the stone by





WOODEN BRIDGES.


WOODEN BR1DGI OVAR THU RHINE


wood. Grubenman offered a model of a bridge
requiring no pier at all, but his design being
considered too daring, the authorities insisted on
one pier of the old bridge, which was intention-





THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


ally left standing, being used as an intermediate
support. The architect accordingly modifed his
design, and the bridge was built apparently in
one span from shore to shore, but additional
strength was given by beams springing from the
pier in question. The length of the bridge was
three hundred and sixty-four feet; its breadth
eighteen feet. It was not in a straight line on
the plan, but formed a very obtuse angle towards
the current. The bridge was an enclosed gallery,
the sides consisting of the framing of the com-
plicated trusses necessary to support such an arch,
and there was a roof over the roadway, resting on
these sides. A man of the slightest weight, when
walking upon it, felt it tremble under him; yet,
waggons heavily laden passed over it without dan-
ger, and although in the latter case the bridge
seemed almost to crack with the pressure, it did
not appear to have suffered the least damage.
Ulric had a brother, John, no way inferior to
himself in mechanical talent. This man, about
the same time, erected a wooden bridge on the
same principle, at Ruichenau, two hundred and
forty feet in length; and the brothers united




WOODEN BRIDGES. 57

their talents to build similar structures in various
parts of Germany.
We regret to add, that the singular and very
curious specimen of aquatic architecture at Schaff-
hausen, fell a sacrifice to the French republic
under General Jourdan, who destroyed it to
cover his retreat, after being defeated by the
Austrians in April 1799. When General Count
Nauendorf took possession of the town of Schaff-
hausen, he punctually obeyed the orders of the
Archduke Charles, in sparing the town as much
as possible; and wished also to enter into an
engagement with the French not to destroy this
beautiful bridge; the republicans, however, re-
jected the proposition and set fire to it, and it
soon became a prey to the flames, as did two
houses situated close to it. Wiebeking, another
German mechanic, has erected numerous beauti-
ful timber bridges in his native country since the
commencement of the present century.
Meissin, near Dresden, is situated on the Elbe,
and over the river at this place is a bridge sup-
ported by stone piers, but the upper part is of
wood. This bridge is considered as a master-





0M THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.
piece of art; the middle arch, which is seventy-
five paces wide, being kept together by a single
wooden peg.
The town of Lodi is a large one, containing
about twelve thousand inhabitants. It has old
Gothic walls, but its chief defence consists in the
river Adda, which flows through it, and is crossed
by a wooden bridge about five hundred feet in
length. It was on this bridge, 10th May, 1796, that
the celebrated battle took place in which Napo-
leon Buonaparte gained a victory of which he was
exceedingly proud. In his despatches, he himself
declares that of all the sharp contests which the
army of Italy had to sustain during the campaigns,
none was to be compared with that terrible pas-
sage of the Bridge of Lodi." In this conflict the
Austrians had upwards of two thousand slain and
wounded; they lost twenty guns, and a thousand
prisoners: while the French, according to their
own statement, lost but two hundred men.
Outhier, in his journal of a voyage to the
north in 1736, describes a timber bridge at Bac
in Sweden, with one hundred and two arches.
We were," he says, "seven minutes and thirty-





WOODEN BRIDGES.


five seconds in passing over this wooden bridge
on horses, and notwithstanding, went at a good
rate." One of great length is thrown over the
Duna at Riga. It is a floating wooden bridge,
forty feet in breadth, and two thousand six hun-
dred feet in length. A row of piles extends from
one shore to the other; each of these is from
twenty-five to forty feet in length, according to
the depth of the river, and appears about four
feet above the level of the water. To these piles
the parts of the bridge are loosely fastened by
means of iron chains fixed to the transverse
beams. The bridge rises and falls with the river,
and under the wheels of heavy-laden carriages
plays as if actuated by a spring. It is the
fashionable walk, and presents a busy scene,
when crowded with passengers and lined on each
side with ships taking in or unloading their car-
goes. In the beginning of winter, like the other
floating bridges of Russia, it is removed when
the frost sets in; the piles remaining in the
water are soon forced up by the ice, they are
then conveyed to land, and the whole is again
laid down in the spring.





THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


Over some of the smaller rivers and canals of
the country of Tonquin, bridges, built of wood
and covered with tiles, are thrown. Some are
made of poles of bamboo, one end of which rests
on the side of the canal or river, and the other rests
against a similar one from the opposite side, so as
to form a rather elevated angle, thus A; these
bridges are very steep to ascend, and still more
difficult to descend; only the most active of the
Tonquinese, can pass them with ease. They are
built by the Bonzes, and are covered in with
roofs of thin poles, overlaid with rushes, or
leaves. When Tonquin was subject to the
Chinese, they built stone bridges over the large
rivers, but these were afterwards destroyed by
the princes of the country, to prevent easy com-
munication with the enemy in time of war.
The strong broad bridges of Japan are arched,
and built of cedar-wood, and so very carefully
kept in repair, that they look at all times as
if just completed. They are railed on both
sides. "As one may travel," says Kempfer in
his history of Japan, "all over this country
without paying any taxes or customs, so like-





WOODEN BRIDGES.


wise they know nothing of any money to be paid
by way of a toll for the repair of highway and
bridges. Only in some places the custom is, in
winter time, to give the bridge-keeper, who is to
look after the bridge, a senni, or farthing, for his
trouble."
Nipontas, or the bridge of Japan, is just op-
posite to the imperial palace, in the middle of
the capital city of Jedo, and is made the centre
from which all distances on the highway are com-
puted to every part of the empire. All the
bridges reach considerably over the banks, and
open with their rails, like two wings, many of
them greatly resembling the quaint-looking bridges
on china cups and saucers.
The bridge at Wandipore in India, is described
by Captain Turner, who passed over it in 1783,
as a striking instance of the soundness and dura-
bility of the fir-wood, of which it is entirely com-
posed. Its age was at that time one hundred and
forty years, and it was not at all decayed, though
no composition of any kind had been made use of
to protect it.
He describes the bridge as of singular light-





f6 THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.
ness and beauty in its appearance; it is composed
entirely of fir, and has not the smallest piece of
iron, or any other metal, to connect its parts. It
has three gateways, one on each side of the river,
and another erected in the stream upon a pier.
The span of the first bridge, which occupies two-
thirds of the breadth of the river, measures one
hundred and twelve feet. The beams and planks
are all of hewn fir, pinned together by large
wooden pegs. It is secured by a neat light rail.
The bridge from the pier to the hill on which the
castle stands, has a pent-house over it, which is
covered with shingles."
A bridge, built principally of satin-wood, was
constructed about sixteen years ago in Ceylon,
the richest and most extensive of all the islands
belonging to British India, and is regarded as a
gratifying specimen of British skill in the im-
provement of our colonial possessions. The
bridge is over Machavillaganga river at Peradenia,
and consists of a single arch of two hundred and
twenty-five feet span, or half as wide again as the
centre arch of London Bridge. The roadway is
twenty feet wide, and its height above the river





WOODEN BRIDGES.


low-water mark about sixty-seven feet. Wooden
bridges generally are condemned, as being com-
posed of a very perishable material; but on the
principle on which this is constructed, the differ-
ent parts of the arch may be replaced as they
decay. The American wedge-bridge is said to
be exceedingly flexible, but this has been com-
pletely obviated in the bridge at Peradenia, which
is an interesting novelty in bridge building.
In America, where timber is so abundant, that
material is frequently used for the construction
of bridges on the largest scale. The earliest was
erected by Palmer over Piscataqua, near Ports-
mouth, in 1794, of two hundred and fifty feet
span. There is another at Trenton, over the Dela-
ware, built by Burr in 1804, of two hundred feet
span; but that at Philadelphia, over the Schuyl-
kil, justly deserves the name given to it of the
Colossus, as exceeding all others in its span,
which is no less than three hundred and forty
feet, with a rise of only twenty feet, and a
depth of seven feet at the vertex. This stupen-
dous arch was constructed in 1813; it is roofed
over, and the whole is planked externally. The





THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


bridge is an enclosed gallery, lighted by numerous
windows on each side; while a lodge or portico,
at each end, contributes to the architectural


BRIDUM AT NORWICH, CONNICTICUT.
beauty of this singular and simple work. There
is another bridge over the same river, of a similar
construction, but consisting of three arches, the
centre one a hundred and ninety-five feet in




WOODEN BRIDGES.


span, the two others a hundred and fifty-one.
It is equally elegant as an object, though not
so imposing in appearance, as the Colossus. In
the wedge-bridge, built over the Piscataqua in
North America, to which we have alluded in the
description of the satin-wood bridge at Parade-
nia, the timber arch is put together with wooden
keys in a very ingenious manner. The builder was
Mr. Bludget, and the bridge is accurately de-
scribed by Colonel Sir H. Douglas, in his work
on military bridges.
There are in our own country very few wooden
bridges worthy of particular notice; where many
once existed, stone bridges have taken their place.
One, which stood near Stirling, in Scotland,
is still remembered with interest, from the re-
markable conflict which took place on it in 1297.
It stood a little higher up the river than the pre-
sent bridge of Stirling, and is celebrated for being
the scene of the defeat of the English by Wallace.
The English were commanded by Earl Warren"
(so state the Annals of Scotland), "who against his
judgment, at the instigation of Hugh de Cressing-
ham, treasurer of Scotland, and a clergyman,




THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


crossed the bridge, and was defeated with horrible
slaughter before the army could be formed on the
opposite side. Cressingham was slain. So detested
was he by the Scots, that they flayed his body
and cut his skin into a thousand pieces, by way
of insult on his pride and avarice. The English,
on their retreat, burnt this bridge, abandoned
their baggage, and fled to Berwick."
Several interesting remains of bridges, partly
built of wood, by the Romans, are to be found
in Great Britain, and traces of them are dis-
tinctly to be seen in the North of England.
Newcastle, in Northumberland, was a Roman sta-
tion, and the bridge here is called Pons ]Elii,
or the JElian bridge, from .Elius Hadrianus.
Two coins were struck in his reign to comme-
morate the building of two bridges, one of
which had seven, the other five arches. The
Pons .Elius at Rome has exactly five arches, and
for that with seven, no place can be so well assign-
ed as the Pons .Elii at Newcastle. Several of the
piers of this old bridge were so strong, that they
could not be taken down without the aid of
gunpowder. They had been built," as Mr.





WOODEN BRIDGES.


Pennant observes, "without springs for arches; a
manner of building used by the Romans,-witness
the bridge over the Danube at Severin." This
mode of building was quickly executed. After
projections of stone had been made over the
piers as far as was consistent with strength, the
remaining space was traversed with beams of
timber, and then paved upon. In one of these
piers a parchment was discovered, with ancient
characters on it, very fresh, but, on being exposed
to the air, they disappeared, and the parchment
mouldered away; many Roman coins were also
found. It is a singular fact, that in several in-
stances modern bridges have been erected and
swept away by the power of the stream, close
to spots where these mighty ruins have defied
the elements for so many centuries.
On the eastern bank of the Tay, about a
quarter of a mile from Perth, is a place called
Rome, to which the Roman road traced from
Ardoch to Duplin points, and is continued on
the other side of the Tay. At this place there
is supposed to have been a wooden bridge; for
in very dry seasons large beams of oak are seen





s( THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.

placed up and down the stream. These were
the foundations, fixed exactly in a spot where
the tide never flows, though just out of its
reach. This bridge was doubtless much fre-
quented, strongly guarded, and perhaps often
attacked, for in the ground on the western side
funeral urns are frequently found.




ROMAN BRIDGES.


CHAPTER V.

THE oldest Stone bridges with which we are
acquainted, and of which several still exist in a
perfect and useful state, are those built by the
ancient Romans. They paid particular attention
to the construction and reparation of bridges
and bridge aqueducts; and this is well proved
even in the present day, by the magnificent re-
mains of both, which are still to be found in the
three divisions of the globe with which they were
acquainted. There were in the ancient city of
Rome eight bridges, the oldest of which, called
Pons Sublicius, is said to have been erected by
Ancus Martius, and was that alleged to have
been defended by Horatius Codes against the
troops of Porsenna. The bridge was originally
of timber; it was rebuilt in stone by REmilius
Lepidus, and thence received the name of Pons





70 THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.

,Emilianus; it was again restored in marble by
the Emperor Antoninus Pius; and it was from
this bridge that the body of the infamous Em-
peror Heliogabalus, with a stone round the neck,
was cast into the Tiber. Portions of its ruins
may still be seen near the Aventine hill.
Another bridge of historical interest is the
Pons Milvius. It was built by Scaurus in the
time of Sylla, at a short distance from the city,
on the modern road to Florence. On it Cicero
caused the ambassadors of the Allobroges to be
arrested, and obtained confirmation of Catiline's
conspiracy; and it was near to it, that Con-
stantine the Great defeated his rival, Maxentius,
on which occasion the former asserted that he
had a miraculous vision of the Cross, which
effected his conversion. This bridge was re-
stored by Nicholas V. and is now called Ponte
Molle.
Pons Elius was built in the reign of the Em-
peror IElius Hadrianus, and is situated close to
his mausoleum. This fine bridge is said to have
had originally a roof of bronze supported by
forty columns; but it was injured by the bar-





ROMAN BRIDGES.


barians, who despoiled the splendid mausoleum
of its ancient riches, and converted it into a
fortress. It was restored by Clement IV. after
the designs of Bernini, who placed on it the
ten colossal statues of Angels, carved in white
marble. These bear representations of the various
instruments of our Saviour's sufferings: the cross,
the nails, the lance, the scourges, the crown of
thorns, &c.; hence its present name, Ponte St.
Angelo.
The celebrated bridge built by the order of
the Emperor Trajan over the Danube is only
known from the description of Dion Cassius
and others. The historian just mentioned
states that it had twenty piers, and that its
largest arches were one hundred and seventy feet
in span, and were raised one hundred and fifty
feet above the river. According to the account
of modern travellers who have visited the ruins,
there are not more than six or seven piers visible
in the bed of the river.
The Emperor Trajan also built, A.D. 105, the
fine bridge over the river Tagus, in the province of
Estremadura. The Arabians gave the name of





THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


" Alcantarat al Seif," or Bridge of the Sword,"
to the structure, and hence the town where it
is situated derives its present name. This bridge
was six hundred and seventy feet long, and con-
sisted of six semicircular arches, the largest being
one hundred and one feet in span, and of such
a height as to raise the level roadway two hun-
dred feet above the river. The town of Al-
cantara being an important point in military
operations, this bridge was nearly destroyed by
the British during the campaign of 1809, in
order to cut off the communication, and to
impede the advance of the French army. A
temporary rope bridge was subsequently thrown
across one of the ruined arches to allow of the
passage of a detachment of our troops. It was
repaired in 1812 by Col. Sturgeon. A triumphal
arch in honour of Trajan crosses the roadway of
the bridge in the middle; and a mausoleum,
constructed by the Roman architect Lacer,
stands at the extremity towards the town. This
mausoleum, which owes its preservation to the
enormous stones with which it is constructed,
has been converted into a chapel, dedicated to St.





ROMAN BRIDGES.


Julian, and is now an object of veneration both
to the townspeople and peasantry.
The arch of the widest span which occurs in
any Roman bridge is that at Verona, called the
Ponte del Castel Vecchio; the centre one of the
three is one hundred and seventy feet in span.
The spot called the Iron-gate" is a remark-
able part of the river Danube. It is a series of
rapids extending through a narrow valley formed
on the north by the Banat range, an offset of
the Transylvanian Carpathian mountains, and on
the south by a lateral range of Mount Balkan.
The bed of the river is here wholly composed
of rough rocks, sometimes starting up in masses
nearly to the surface of the water, sometimes
forming a wall crossing it from bank to bank.
These rocks occupy the bed of the river for
nearly three miles, and are exceedingly rough in
their appearance; indeed, Mr. Quin, in his Steam
Voyage down the Danube," likens them to the
gaping jaws of some infernal monster." When
the Danube is at its ordinary level, the roar of
the waters, as they hurry through the Iron-gate,
is heard for many miles round. Vessels of a





74 THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.

low draught may descend the rapids; but to
ascend them is a matter of great difficulty: here,
therefore, occurs the only obstruction to a water
communication between Hungary and Turkey.
Roman antiquities of an important character are
found in this most remarkable valley, roads,
bridges, &c. with inscriptions still readable. The
most important of these are a road and bridge
attributed to the Emperor Trajan. The former
was constructed as a tracking-path along the
Servian side of the Iron-gate. At the lower
part of the passage an ancient corridor is cut
in the rock; at the upper, huge mortice holes
are let in for the insertion of beams, on which
the corridor was borne along upon its face. A
large inscription, still legible, gives the honour of
this great work to Trajan; and Mr. Quin took some
pains to trace the exact site of this famous bridge
across the Danube. He found on the Wallachian
bank an ancient tower of Roman construction
built on an eminence; and, looking down the
river, he distinctly observed the water curling
over a series of impediments, extending from
bank to bank. At both extremities of the line





AQUEDUCT BRIDGES. 70

thus formed he found the remains of square
pillars; and a ruin on one side appeared to him
to have been the buttress of the first arch of the
bridge, which once stood in this most important
spot, for the public convenience. Many other Ro-
man relics and ruins equally interesting still exist,
and to them Europe has been much indebted; for
the bridges built by the Romans in the provinces
served as models for the stone bridges which were
erected after the dissolution of that empire.
The Roman aqueduct bridges, for the con-
veyance of water from distant sources to towns
which were deficient in that necessary of life,
were abundant over every part of the Roman
Empire, and the remains of the arcades re-
quired for these purposes are still among the
most interesting monuments of antiquity. At the
time when these mighty structures were formed,
labour, from the existence of slavery, was cheap,
and it could be commanded to any extent. The
Romans perfectly understood that water, conveyed
in pipes, would rise to its level; but these are
more easily cut off by besiegers, and utility and
solidity were the principles of the Roman archi-





THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


tecture. The construction of their great roads
and aqueducts also "made a name to generals
and great men, and gave occupation to soldiers
as well as slaves in the times of peace.
The term "aqueduct" signifies, in its literal
meaning, a duct or conduit of water; and in this
sense the pipes that convey the water under our
streets are aqueducts; but the application of the
word has been restricted by usage to a peculiar
kind of conduits,-those raised partly, if not en-
tirely, above the surface of the ground, for the
purpose of carrying water in a slightly descend-
ing stream over valleys and plains from one com-
paratively high point to another. According to
Julius Frontinus, Rome in his time (about A.D.
70) was supplied with water from nine sources,
brought from distances varying from ten to sixty
miles, partly along subterranean passages, and
partly on stone arcades, many of them upwards
of one hundred feet high, across the valleys, ac-
cording to the ground. Every great city in the
Roman Empire was equally provided with a con-
stant supply of water by means of similar works.
The total quantity of water delivered into the





AQUEDUCT BRIDGES.


city of Rome by these aqueducts was altogether
astonishing, and quite beyond what we have any
conception of in the present day, for either
comfort or luxury. Strabo said truly, that
whole rivers flowed through the streets of Rome."
When all the aqueducts were in operation, it has
been calculated that water was supplied at the
rate of seven hogsheads per day to each individual.
This is more than ten times the supply of Lon-
don, now reckoned to be so profuse.
If we consider attentively," says Pliny, the
quantities of water brought into the city for the
use of the public, for baths, fish-ponds, private
houses, for artificial lakes, for gardens in the
neighbourhood of the city, and for villas; if we
look also at the works which have been con-
structed for forming a regular channel for the
waters,-arches raised up, mountains pierced
with tunnels, and valleys filled up to a level,-
it must be acknowledged that there is nothing
in the whole world more wonderful."
Frontinus, who was appointed curator of the
aqueduct bridges by the Emperor Nerva, has
left the most ample account of them. Nine





THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


great aqueducts supplied the city, five more were
added by Nerva, and the number was afterwards
augmented to twenty. Of these the most re-
markable were the Aqua Appia, the old and
new Anio, the Martia, the Julia, the Tepula, the
Virginia and the Claudia. The Appia proceeds
part of the way for upwards of eleven miles by
a deep subterranean channel. The old Anio was
forty-three miles in length. The Martia rose
from a spring distant thirty-three miles from
Rome, made a circuit of three miles, and then
ran along thirty-eight miles upon a series of
arcades at an elevation of seventy feet. The
Aqua Claudia took its rise thirty-eight miles
from the city; it formed a subterraneous stream
thirty-six miles in length; ran ten miles and
three quarters along the surface of the ground,
was vaulted for the space of three miles, and
supported on arcades through the extent of seven
miles, being carried on so high a level as to sup-
ply all the hills of Rome. It was built of hewn
stone, and still continues to supply the modern
city with water of the purest quality, which has
hence procured it the name of Aqua Felicia.





AQUEDUCT BRIDGES. 7V
In this country, where bridges, canals, and
other water-works, have been carried to a great
extent and perfection, we consider an aqueduct of
six or eight arches a work of no small extent
and importance; what should we think then, of
the aqueduct of the new Anio, extending six
miles and a half in one continued series of arches,
many of them upwards of one hundred feet high ?
- of the Aqua Martia extending thirty-eight
miles, and containing in all nearly seven thousand
arches? In the new Anio, the arches are the
highest of any, being raised in some parts one
hundred and nine feet.
The principal aqueducts in use at the present
day in Rome are, the Felice, the Virginia, and the
Paulina; the latter was repaired by Pope Paul V.
in the year 1612. But the system of aqueducts,
as we have remarked, was not confined to the
city of Rome; it was gradually extended through-
out the provinces of that vast empire, and every
city and considerable town had its conduits and
aqueducts for supplying it with water, many of
which still remain to attest the magnificence with
which these works were carried on. The Roman





MU THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.
aqueduct at Merida, in Spain, has been considered
one of the grandest remains of antiquity in the
world; ten arches are nearly perfect, and thirty-
seven shafts remain, some of which are ninety
feet in height. They are arched in three tiers,
and made of brick and granite.
The aqueduct at Segovia was built by the
Romans, and greatly repaired by Ferdinand and
Isabella. As the stream below this beautiful
work is difficult of access, and the water not very
wholesome, the conduit brings the pure stream of
the river Frio a distance of three leagues. This
aqueduct was respected by the Goths, but broken
down by the Moors of Toledo, 1071. It re-
mained in ruin until August 26, 1483, when
Isabella employed a monk of the Pairal convent
to repair it; and, though only the son of a poor
carpenter, he had the good taste to imitate the
model before him. When he went to Seville to
report the completion of the repairs, Isabella gave
him for his fee all the wood-work of the scaffold-
ings. From the extent and beauty of this aque-
duct, the common people attribute it to the
devil instead of the Emperor Trajan: like similar





AQUEDUCT BRIDGES.


constructions of the Romans, it is formed of gra-
nite without cement or mortar.
At Tebessa, an Arab town in Algeria, an aque-
duct still exists, which is seven hundred and sixty-
five yards in length, and crosses a ravine fifty feet
in depth. From the side of the mountain of Bou
Rouman flows an abundant stream of water, and
this is still brought by the Roman aqueduct to
Tebessa, and supplies the inhabitants with all the
water required for their gardens and for their
domestic use.
Of all the works of this description, however,
the most superb is the aqueduct bridge at Nis-
mes, in the south of France, known by the name
of the Pont du Gard. This colossal structure is
situated about three leagues to the north of
Nismes. It is generally supposed, from an inscrip-
tion, to have been erected by Agrippa, in order to
convey to the city of Nismes the waters of the
spring Eure, which rises near Uzes. It is one hun-
dred and sixty feet in height, and consists of three
bridges or series of arcades, reared one upon the
other, so as to unite two craggy mountains. The
uppermost of these arcades, which serves for the






THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.


aqueduct, has thirty-six arches, of about fourteen
feet wide and eighteen high, formed of huge
blocks of stone fitted together without cement.
The central bridge, on which the aqueduct stands,
has eleven arches, each sixty feet in width, and
nearly seventy feet high. The lowest, under
which runs the small river Gard, has six arches of
nearly the same dimensions. Louis XIV, when
he repaired, in 1609, the damages which this
stupendous and useful mass of masonry had sus-
tained from time, erected a bridge by the side
of the lower range of arches, for the accom-
modation of travellers: but the inferiority of its
mode of construction is peculiarly visible.
The aqueduct of Segovia, according to Culme-
nares, who travelled in Spain, and has written the
history of Segovia, may be compared with the
most wonderful works which antiquity has trans-
mitted to us. There still remains of it a hundred
and fifty-nine arches, all built with large stones,
and without any cement. There are two rows
of arches, one above the other, and the whole
height of the edifice is a hundred and two feet.
It runs quite across the town, and passes over the





AQUEDUCT BRIDGES.


greater part of the houses which lie in the
hollow.
The famous aqueducts of Constantinople were
constructed by the Emperor Valentinian I. Of
these three cross as many valleys betwixt the
adjoining hills: in one of them the pillars are
enclosed in the middle, and thus form a useful
bridge besides conveying the water.-Another
Roman aqueduct crossing the river Moselle is
well worthy notice.
The Moorish aqueduct of the city of Elvas, in
Portugal, conveys the water of an excellent spring
for the distance of fifteen miles to the city, where
an immense reservoir is kept constantly filled,
which contains a sufficient supply of water to
last the inhabitants for six months. It might be
thought that a conduit for conveying water should
be carried out in one undeviating line; but the
aqueduct of Elvas forms an irregular zigzag,
somewhat resembling the representation of a flash
of lightning. The great height and narrowness
of the hill on which Elvas is situated require this
formation to give greater strength, as every
angle is a powerful supporter. Unlike the aque-






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duct at Alcantara, whose vast arches rise to the
height of three hundred and thirty-two feet,
this consists of four stories or tiers of arches, the
lower ones being nearly one hundred feet, and
the upper ones forty feet in height; giving a
total, allowing for the thickness of the arch, of
about two hundred and fifty feet in height. The
valley which this stupendous pile crosses is about
one mile and a-half in breadth, and the vastness
of the work may be conceived; when we consider
the immense quantity of masonry required to
erect a series of arches of this description, even
were it no more than to cross this valley, and the
great length of the work, crossing many hollows,
and stretching over hill and vale to the fountain-
head. It is supported at intervals by large but-
tresses, either triangular, square, or round, with sto-
ries decreasing in size as they approach the top.
That the principles of hydraulics were known
to the builders of this aqueduct is evident, for
the ancient fountains still existing in various
parts of the city attest the fact; we must suppose,
therefore, that the nature of the ground was such
as to prevent the possibility of laying a water-





AQUEDUCT BRIDGES.


course. The earth, in this part of the country,
as at Lisbon, scarcely covers the rock, which
is a species of extremely hard marble. In many
places long tunnels would have been necessary, the
solid rock must have been cut through, and
quantities of masonry required to connect parts
separated by fissures and ravines. So that,
gigantic as the aqueduct appears as a work of art,
it was probably the cheapest and least laborious
method of conveying water to the city. But be
that as it may, it will never cease to be an object
of interest and admiration both to the antiquary
and the passing traveller, as affording a specimen
of the power and greatness of the singular people
by whom it was erected.
The aqueduct bridge of Alcantara, near the
city of Lisbon, is a very magnificent work. It
was begun in the reign of John V. King of
Portugal, in the year 1713, and finished in 1732;
and the streams which pass through it are an
abundant and never-failing supply of water to
the inhabitants of Lisbon.
The aqueduct commences about three leagues
and a-half from Lisbon, and the water is con-





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veyed from thence through the hills by sub-
terraneous passages, and across many valleys
on the tops of very magnificent arches, of which
that crossing the vale of Alcantara is the chief.
The interior height of the building is about
thirteen feet; and through the centre, between
the two streams, is a wide walk or foot-path,
paved with stone. The building is continued the
same height through the whole of the aqueduct
from Lisbon to the springs from whence it be-
gins. The subterranean passages are lighted and
ventilated by frequent openings made from the
surface of the earth into the aqueduct; and over
each of these openings turrets, or square towers,
are erected, which have windows latticed with
iron bars, and the whole pile is lighted and venti-
lated by seventy-nine windows and sixteen turrets.
Beneath every second turret is an arched doorway
into the aqueduct on each side of the building
wherein the water flows; and between that build-
ing and a parapet-wall is a foot-path leading to
the beautiful village of Bemsique; about four
miles from Lisbon. The expense attending the
execution of so magnificent a work, and keeping




AQUEDUCT BRIDGES.


the same in repair, has been immense; yet the
small tax of a single rey on every pound of meat
raises a fund sufficient for the purpose. The
height of the grand arch is two hundred and
twenty-seven feet.
The aqueduct built by Louis XIV. near Main-
tenon, for carrying the river Briere to Versailles,
is perhaps one of the largest in the world. It
is seven thousand fathoms long, and its elevation
is two thousand five hundred and sixty fathoms,
comprising two hundred and forty-two arcades.
There are no aqueducts in Great Britain which
exactly correspond with those we have been
describing, but a great number of aqueduct
bridges, some of great dimensions and most
striking appearance, have been constructed for the
conveyance of canals, and railroads, across rivers
and valleys. The first aqueduct bridges for
canals were those made by the Duke of Bridge-
water, which, being new in this country,
excited no little astonishment. The first and
largest was the aqueduct at Barton Bridge for
conveying the canal across the Irwell, thirty-nine
feet above the surface of the water. It consisted





50 THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.
of three arches, the middle one sixty-three feet
span, and admitting under it the largest barges
navigating the river Irwell, with their sails set;
and in 1761 the spectacle was first presented to
this country of vessels floating and sailing across
the course of the river, while others in the river
itself were passing under them.
Since that period canal aqueducts have become
more common, and many excellent specimens are
to be found in Great Britain. Of these is the
aqueduct over the river Lune, on the Lancaster
canal, a splendid work of five arches, each
seventy-two feet in span, and rising sixty-five
feet above the level of the river: and the Kelvin
aqueduct near Glasgow, which conveys the Forth
and Clyde canal over the valley of Kelvin, con-
sists of four arches, each seventy feet span, and
rising seventy feet above the level of the river.
The Pont Cysyth conveys the waters of the Elles-
mere across the river Dee, and the vale of Llangol-
len, which it traverses. The channel for the water
is made of cast iron, and is supported on cast iron
arches, resting on pillars of stone. The aque-
duct is one thousand feet in length, and consists




AQUEDUCT BRIDGES.


of nineteen arches, each forty-five feet in span.
The same canal is conveyed across a valley at
Chirk by another fine aqueduct.
There are in different parts of this country
various other aqueducts which might be described,
but our limits preclude our entering upon them.
In fact they have become almost an essential in
the formation of railroads, and in all improvements
in our road making. People were formerly con-
tent to traverse slowly all the inequalities of the
country through which the road might pass, de-
scending into the valleys, and mounting the
steepest acclivities. Now, however, a road is
thought imperfect unless every rise greater than
one to fifteen or one to twenty feet be cut
down. In crossing the valleys, therefore, it is
not enough now that we build a bridge in all
respects sufficient for crossing the stream itself,
we must raise it nearly to a level with the ground
on each side of the valley; and this circum-
stance has given rise to new and very extensive
works which formerly never would have been
thought of. Of these we will just mention the
splendid bridge of one arch, one hundred and




W THE BOOK OF BRIDGES.

forty feet in span, built over the Den Burn at
Aberdeen, to form a new approach to the town.
The introduction of railways opened a new and
still wider field for the skill and talents of the
engineer in the erection of such works. Rail-
roads require to be kept as much as possible
on a level, and somewhat like the old Roman
aqueducts, where the country is low, must in like
manner be sometimes elevated on a series of ar-
cades. This sort of bridges have received the name
of Viaducts, and one of the first was, we believe,
that on the Manchester and Birmingham railway,
of nine arches, termed the Sankey viaduct.





CONTINENTAL BRIDGES.


CHAPTER VI.

THE Arabians, who in every part of the ex-
tensive empire they founded in the sixth, seventh,
and subsequent centuries, led the way in litera-
ture and science, by studying the works of the
Greeks and Romans, were not backward in the
erection of new bridges in their Spanish domi-
nions. These not only facilitated mutual inter-
course between the different provinces, but ri-
valled the Roman structures of the same descrip-
tion in magnitude and solidity. One of the
finest was the bridge at Cordova, built by Hes-
cham, son of Adalrahman, in the beginning of
the ninth century of our era. This bridge is
indeed a magnificent structure; its length is one
thousand feet, and the number of arches is sixteen.
Tradition relates that there was formerly a bridge
over the Guadalquiver, erected on the site of





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the present structure, about two hundred years
before the arrival of the Arabs in Spain; but
this being greatly decayed, the Moors built the
original of the existing bridge about the year
721. About the close of the eighth century
it was restored throughout by Hisham, the son
of Addurrahman, and it is said that he happened
on a certain day to ask one of his ministers what
the people of Cordova said of the work. They
say the prince's motive for this is only that he
may pass over it to the chase," was the reply;
upon hearing which Hisham bound himself by an
oath never to cross the bridge, a vow which he
scrupulously fulfilled.
In those troublesome times which succeeded
the fall of the Roman Empire no bridges were
built, and rivers for the most part were passed
by fords or ferries: these frequently became
subjects of warm contention between neighbour-
ing barons, or were taken possession of by out-
laws; and travellers, in availing themselves of
an insecure method of journeying, were subject
to the certainty of being heavily taxed, and the
chance of being plundered.





CONTINENTAL BRIDGES.


It was about the commencement of the twelfth
century that an individual of the name of Bene-
zet, a cow-herd, appeared in the cathedral of Avig-
non, and announced to the multitude a special
mission from Heaven, as he said, for the erection
of a bridge over the Rhone at that city. By most
extraordinary efforts this singular enthusiast con-
trived in the course of a few years to erect a
bridge; which, when we consider its enormous
dimensions, and the local difficulties to be over-
come in its construction, claims to be ranked
as one of the most remarkable monuments that
have ever been erected by the skill and ingenuity
of man. Unfortunately a flood of the river
carried it away. The labours of Benezet, how-
ever, were not altogether without due reward; he
obtained a place among the saints of the Roman
Calendar, and became the founder of a religious
order, called the "Brethren of the Bridge," by
whom some of the finest bridges in Europe have
been erected. From the period of the labours of
the Brethren of the Bridge" to the present time
the art of bridge-making has continually progress-
ed, and most of the rivers of the Continent are





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now spanned by arches, with which the labours
of former ages will bear no comparison, either as
it respects the boldness and grandeur of their
design, or the perfection of their detail.
Of the bridges built by these monks one at
Lyons consisted of twenty arches; another over
the Rhone, of nineteen arches: both these bridges
still exist; they are curved instead of straight,
and thus present a convex front to the current
of the river. The bridge of St. Esprit, on the
Rhine, is nearly a mile in length; and that called
La Vielle Brionde, over the Allier, is a semicircu-
lar arch of one hundred and eighty feet in span,
and until the erection of the Chester Bridge in
England, which is two hundred feet in span,
was the largest arch in the world. A bridge
built by them at Verona, in 1354, has an arch
of one hundred and sixty feet span.
At Ratisbon the river Danube forms two
small islands, which are laid out in agreeable
walks, and connected with each other and with
the town by a stone bridge, twenty-three feet
wide, and nearly eleven hundred feet long. This
was also built in the twelfth century by the




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