Friday, May 26, 2017


Unkapanı - Azapkapı, İstanbul - Turkey

 photo unkapani_bridge110.jpg


Atatürk Bridge, alternatively known as the Unkapanı Bridge, is a highway bridge on the Golden Horn in Istanbul, Turkey. It is named after Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey.

It was originally completed in 1836 with the name Hayratiye Bridge, which connected the quarters of Unkapanı and Azapkapı. The construction of the Hayratiye Bridge was ordered by the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II and supervised by Ahmed Fevzi Pasha, the Deputy Admiral of the Ottoman Fleet, at the Imperial Naval Arsenal (Tersane-i Amire) on the Golden Horn. The opening was personally made by Sultan Mahmud II in 1836, who crossed the bridge on his horse. This original bridge was circa 400 meters long and 10 meters wide, and was built as a bascule bridge for allowing large ships to pass.

The original name of the bridge, which was built on 3rd of September, 1836 over the Golden Horn, is Hayratiye (charity) because it was free of charge to use. The timber bridge, repaired between 1839 and 1840, was thought unsafe, and a new one was needed. When the bridge was charged for animals and carts for the construction of new a bridge, and the name was changed to Mahmudiye. The 504 m length bridge, built by French firm Forges and Chantiers de la Mediterranee in September 1872, was demolished in the storm of February 11, 1936.

In 1875 it was replaced by a second bridge, made of iron and constructed by a French company at the price of 135,000 Ottoman gold liras. It was 480 meters long and 18 meters wide, and remained in service between 1875 and 1912, when it was demolished due to reaching the end of its service life.

In 1912, the nearby Third Galata Bridge was disassembled in pieces and was re-erected at the site of the demolished Hayratiye Bridge, becoming the third bridge on this site. This bridge was used until 1936, when it was damaged by a storm.

The new bridge, designed by French Highways and Bridges Supervisor M. Pigeaud, opened for service on the 29th of October, 1939. The bridge is carried by 24 steel pontoons and is 477 m in length and 25 m in width. The current (fourth) bridge on this site was constructed between 1936 and 1940, and entered service in 1940 with the name Atatürk Bridge.

The Unkapanı Bridge, also known as Atatürk Bridge, was constructed in 1939 by a French firm. The bridges over the Golden Horn are still said to be the world's longest pontoon bridges. However, pontoons are considered to hinder the flow of water from the Golden Horn into the Sea of Marmara.

Historicly, on the site of the present Unkapanı Ataturk Bridge, there was a bridge called the “Jewish Bridge” (Yahudi Köprüsü) made of wooden planks. The purpose of building a bridge across the Golden Horn was to save citizens from paying a boat fee. For this reason, the bridge was known as the “Pious Deed  Bridge” (Hayrat Köprüsü). The name of the bridge was changed to “Atatürk Bridge” in 1935. Its wooden parquet floor was paved to asphalt in the repair in 1950.


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