Saturday, October 19, 2013

The 'Big' Bridge

Hessens will generally tell you that there are forty 'famous' bridges in their state....with pride.

The bridge that I generally admire of the the Theodor Heuss Bridge.....going from Mainz-Kastel to Mainz.  To be honest....Mainz-Kastel ought to be named Wiesbaden-Kastel but there's some historical deal to this, and the folks in Kastel consider themselves more Mainz than Wiesbaden.  This apparently goes back a thousand or so you don't argue with the locals about this.

The original bridge?  Well, the Romans wandered into the area, and built a bridge around 27AD.  In 1865....a toll bridge went up at this point of the river.  Shockingly enough.....the tolls paid the bridge off within three years.  That was back when a Mark was worth a Mark.

Knowing a great deal....the locals pressed on with the toll for roughly another forty years.  No one says much about which pocket it went into or how much infrastructure in Mainz it paid for during this period....but it was a money-maker

Near the conclusion of WW II.....German engineers blew up the bridge to prevent it from being used by the advancing American Army.

The Germans went back to work in 1948 and rebuilt the bridge yet again.

It's been through various renovation periods, and likely to be there for at least another hundred years (Germans build bridges to last).

I would imagine that if the Romans were around today....they'd admire the bridge....but offer their advice that they could have built a better bridge.  The Germans would go into a fit of frustration, and a long winded debate would be stirred up.  Luckily, we don't have Romans wandering around today.

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