Biržos bridge

Coordinates: 55.710035 21.133527

Object address: Biržos bridge, Klaipeda, Lithuania

Municipality: Klaipėda

It is a steel bascule bridge over the river Danė in Klaipėda between H.Manto and Tiltų streets. It is drawbridge, lifted up for 50 degrees from both sides. The bridge is involved into Registry of Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Lithuania.  
By the second half of the 18th century a wooden Biržos bridge has a strategic importance: on the right bank of the river it was protected by bulked ravelin. The bridge gave city considerable income: each passing vessel was required to pay tax on the lift of the bridge – a small hole was opened in the middle of the bridge that masts of sailboats could get through. By the middle of the 19th century it was the only transit bridge. It was given a lot of attention – many times the bridge was reconstructed, rebuilt. In 1877 construction of a new metal bascule bridge on brick pillars started according to the project of architect Meier. The metal part is designed by engineer Bernstein from Wiesbaden. The bridge was built by the Gdansk firm. It was opened in 1879.        
The two parts of the bridge were swinging – the holes of 19 and 14 metres in width were opened up.
In 1904 when the tram began to ride, the upper part of the bridge was reconstructed again. After this reconstruction the bridge was decorated with two metal openwork portals of Art Nouveau style, to which the lights were attached. In order that the movable parts of the bridge would not bow, the ends of them were strained by metal elbow joint constructions. Such a bridge stood until the end of the third decade of the 20th century. Later its handrail was simplified whereas portals were removed. The bridge during the World War II was destroyed. It was restored in 1948, reconstructed – in 2006-2007.

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