Si O Se Pol Bridge of Esfahan, an Architectural Masterpiece
Among the historical monuments of Esfahan, we can mention Si O Se Pol Bridge. This bridge connects the south and north streets of Chaharbagh. Si O Se Pol Bridge has been built on the Zayandeh River.
Zayandeh River is not navigable, but it is wide and in ancient times its water flow was more pressurized and stronger. Therefore, it was difficult to pass. As a result, during the Safavid period and the time of Shah Abbas I, Si O Se Pol Bridge was built on this river. This bridge was constructed with the expense and supervision of Shah Abbas’ famous general, namely Allah Verdi Khan. For this reason, it is also known as Pol-e Allah Vardi Khan.
Other names are Paul, Thirty-three springs, Chaharbagh, and Jolfa. The bridge was built in 1603 AD. Chaharbagh Street in Esfahan was also established in the same year.
Of course, the exact time of the construction of the bridge over the Zayandeh River is not known, but in most sources, the date 1603 AD is mentioned for it. This monument was enlisted among the national monuments of Iran in 1931.
During the Safavid era, the Abrizan or Abpashan festival (traditional water sprinkling festivity) was held near this bridge. Also, Jolfa Armenians performed their pilgrimage ceremony in the area of the bridge. Si O Se Pol Bridge is considered an architectural masterpiece of the Safavid period. The reflection of the image of the bridge in Zayandeh Rood creates a very beautiful sight, especially in the early hours of morning sunlight on the surface of the water or before sunset.
During the Pahlavi era, an image of Si O Se Pol Bridge was printed on the 200 rial banknotes. The presence of this image on the banknotes shows that this bridge has been a national symbol of Iran since then.
Characteristics of the Si O Se Pol Bridge of Esfahan
The length of the bridge is about 300 meters and its width is 14 meters, which is the longest bridge on the Zayandeh River. The architect of the bridge, whose name was Hossein Bana (Hossein the mason), used 3 types of materials in the construction of the bridge. He used bricks for the lower part of the bridge and used plaster and saruj (traditional cement) for the upper part.
Usually, in the construction of the bridge, a part of the river that has a smaller width is used. But the architect of Si O Se Pol Bridge used the widest part of the Zayandeh River to build it. He believed that this part of the river is shallow, wide, and calm. However, the bridge is very strongly built. Also, its resistance to destruction is very high.
In the first decades of the 20th century, the central part of the bridge was changed for cars to pass and its two sides for pedestrians to walk. In its walking part, there are 99 covered arches. In the past, beautiful paintings were installed on each of these arches, but now there are no traces of these paintings. The arches of this bridge have columns with a height of 7 to 9 meters that support the roof.
Allah Vardi Khan Bridge with 33 spans is constructed on Zayandeh River. From each of these openings, water flows into the river with a pleasant sound. In the past, this bridge had 40 springs, but today 7 openings are closed and 33 openings remain.
Today’s Status of Si O Se Pol Bridge
In the past, Si O Se Pol Bridge was built for the passage of carriages and light equipment. But until a few years ago, traveling over the bridge was done by vehicles, including cars, etc. Heavy vehicles also were allowed to cross the bridge. Therefore, Si O Se Pol Bridge has been damaged and lost its beauty to some extent.
After the 1979 revolution in Iran, the passage of heavy vehicles over the bridge was restricted. Although the Si O Se Pol Bridge does not have the charm of the past, it still welcomes several tourists from Iran and abroad.
Another problem that has affected many cities in Iran in the last two decades is the water shortage crisis. Zayandeh River is also not an exception. Like other historical bridges in Iran, this historical bridge is also threatened by a lack of water. After all, the atmosphere of the city without water in the river is not very happy and refreshing.
Do not Miss Visiting This Attraction
Zayandeh River is one of the most beautiful rivers in Iran located in the historical city of Esfahan. If you are planning to travel to Esfahan and are looking for a place to relax, we recommend you visit this beautiful river. The presence of Si O Se Pol Bridge on the river has doubled its beauty. By walking on the bridge, you can have the feeling of walking on the surface of the Zayandeh River.
Also, before traveling halfway around the world, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with other tourist attractions in Esfahan and visit more places of interest.