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Fragments of ancient bridges exposed in Warsaw pontiseum

19 of May '21

A treat for lovers of Warsaw history and engineering. Original parts of the capital's historic bridges can again be seen on the Vistula River. Their fragments fished out of the Vistula stood in a pontiseum on the boulevards.

Pontiseum

Pontiseum

photo: ZDM Warszawa

The new attraction on the Vistula boulevards was inaugurated on May 18. International Museum Day falls on that day, and at the same time it is the Day of the Bridge Builder. The site is located in the vicinity of the Copernicus Science Center and the Świętokrzyski Bridge, at the intersection of Tamka and Zajęcza streets. Metal structures painted maroon have been installed in the square. This is part of an open-air museum dedicated to bridge structures - pontiseum ( Ponte meaning bridge in Latin).

Most Kierbedzia Most Kierbedzia

Kierbedzia Bridge

Photo: NAC / ZDM Warszawa

Warsaw's bridges over the Vistula were blown up during the First (August 5, 1915) and Second World Wars (September 13, 1944). Their fragments lay in river sediments for more than 70 years. The Road and Bridge Research Institute excavated them, secured them and then donated them to the city. Now elements of the blown-up bridges - Poniatowski, Kierbedzia and the bridge under the Citadel - can be seen on the Vistula River.
Most pod Cytadelą Most Poniatowskiego

Bridge under the Citadel, Poniatowski Bridge

photo: NAC / ZDM Warszawa

The Pontiseum is another landmark on the cultural map of the Vistula District, which is the result of cooperation between the Road and Bridge Research Institute, the City Roads Authority and the Greenery Authority. Prof. Barbara Rymsza came up with the idea for the exposition. In 2008-2014, she conducted research that unearthed fragments of the structures of Warsaw's first permanent bridges from the bottom of the Vistula River.

Pontiseum Pontiseum

Pontiseum

photo: ZDM Warszawa

The relics of steel bridges bear witness to the mastery of Polish bridge builders. Destroyed, bent elements convey the memory of the destructive power of war. On the Vistula River you can admire fragments of the Kierbedzia Bridge (completed in 1860-1864, the first permanent bridge in Warsaw), Poniatowski Bridge (1904-1914) and the bridge under the Citadel (1873-1875) on the site of today's Gdanski Bridge.


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