Views of the Vltava at the bridge, which was called the gate to heaven
The main road number 29 on the route from Písek to Tábor crosses the deep canyon of the Vltava River after about nine kilometers from Písek. The Podolský Bridge with a distinctive arch rises here. The bridge was completed in 1943 and at the time of its construction was one of the largest bridges in Europe with its unique concrete arch. For its special grandeur and lightness, it was even called the gate to heaven and its project won several international awards. It is worth stopping at the bridge and admiring the local viewpoint and the architectural skills of our ancestors.
The reinforced concrete bridge was built between 1938 and 1943 and has a total length of 510 m. It consists of several arches, the largest of which has a gap of 150 m.
Arches of the bridge
The bridge consists of a total of eight arches, the largest of which has a gap of 150 meters. The main arch of the bridge carries two other smaller ones.
Parking with a view
On the left bank there is a large parking lot with a view and there is also a snack bar.
View from the bridge
It is definitely worth walking along the bridge and looking at the river deep below us. The interesting thing is that deep under this bridge there has been a unique chain bridge since 1848. It was declared a National Monument in 1959. When he had to retreat to the emerging dam reservoir, he was dismantled and moved to the river Lužnice. Not far from the village of Stádlec (about 10 km SW of Tábor) it still serves today.
The bridge is 8.5 meters wide and the road lies at a height of 55 to 65 meters above the river.
An episode from the war
Another interesting feature is the episode from the end of World War II, when the bridge, which was located in the liberation zone of the Red Army, was occupied by the American Armored Division upon agreement. It crossed the demarcation line about 13 km and blocked the bridge for the Germans fleeing the Soviets. After the Germans were transported to Soviet POW camps, the Americans withdrew and released the blockade of the bridge. A memorial plaque near the parking lot commemorates this war episode.
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