This week’s pic of the week takes us back to Saxony and to the city of Chemnitz. I haven’t done much bridge photography this year on the count of the Corona Virus and the subsequent lockdown we were all in. Since the beginning of May, we’ve been loosening up the restrictions and when I photographed this bridge recently, it was just after the state government allowed for festivals to take place. For many that had been cooped up in their homes, it was a relief to be out and about, even if it meant wearing mouth masks in public to ensure nobody gets sick.
The Medieval Festival took place at the Rabenstein Castle this past weekend; it was one of the first of such festivals to take place in public. The castle is located near another historic jewel, namely this viaduct.
The Rabenstein Viaduct was built in 1897 and it features a main span- a cantilever deck Warren truss with riveted connections, supported by two concrete arch approach spans. It was built to serve the local railroad line that connected Chemnitz Central Station with the town of Wüstenbrand. Trains used this line until it was discontinued by 1950. In the early 1980s, the East German government provided funding to repurpose the structure for pedestrian use, which it still does to this day. It’s a great place for hikers, as they can see the village of Rabenstein, with its historic houses below, as well as hills in the background, where Chemnitz is located. The viaduct has been listed by the Saxony Ministry of Heritage and Historic Places (Denkmalschutz) for its unique design and its connection with the industrial and transportational history for the region of Chemnitz. The viaduct is expected to be rehabilitated in the coming years to make the structure safer to use, yet the organization that owns the viaduct is collecting donations in order for the rehabilitation to happen. Information on how to help can be found in the link below. There you can also read up on the history of the Wüstenbrand Railline.
The viaduct is located about 400 meters from the Rabenstein Castle, yet finding it was a real difficulty because of the steep hills combined with thick forests and curvy hiking trails. Even vast portions of Rabenstein were lying on hills and the streets that connected the main highway with the castle and nearby campground made driving treacherous and hiking a challenge. Still no matter where you go, you will still reach the bridge regardless of which end you enter. When you are there, then it’s only five minutes tot he castle but not before climbing down to the main highway, which runs past the castle, first. You will see that with the pics that I present you of the bridge. A real treat if you love the history of bridges and railroads, but also love the great outdoors.