As another series is starting alongside the ones in the running, this pic of the week takes us to the town of Hof. The city has 44,000 inhabitants and is located near the border where Germany was once divided into the eastern and western halves with borders and all. The town was on the western half and was once a key point for people fleeing to the west because of repression in the east. Since 1990, however, the town has slowly declined with many businesses and houses being abandoned and unemployment relatively high. Even some of the bridges in the area have seen better days, like we see with this crossing.
This bridge is located over the River Saale at the dam in Alsenberg in the south end of Hof. It’s a nine-panel Pratt through truss bridge with heel portals and strut bracings, built between 1900 and 1920. The structure appeared to have carried cars and pedestrians because it was built using thin metal and is light weight. The structure has been abandoned for over 40 years and is showing its age as we can see in this picture. The structure is literally getting covered in green moss and vegetation, with wooden planking rotting and the bridge unstable in general. A rather picturesque tunnel view shot but one that is a once in a lifetime shot. A new bridge is being built next to this one, and chances are, because restoration is out of the question due to excessive rust and corrosion, this bridge will be removed in the coming years. For sure the next flood will knock it off its foundations and wash it down stream.
Our 46th pic of the week you will find on the Chronicles’s facebook page. With a setting like this on the eve of spring with leaves blossoming and all, this structure definitely deserves some attention, especially given the fact that it has come off a fresh rehabilitation.
The structure is located at Floßplatz and Heidelbach at the mill and dam, spanning the River Zschopau between Warmbad and Wolkenstein. It was built in 1828 using sandstone and other minerals and is a one-span arch bridge. Flood damage in 2013 forced its closure and it wasn’t until 2017 when the bridge was finally restored, but at a steep cost of 2.2 million Euros. The structure is open to traffic but only one lane and preferrably with anything OTHER than a car for one can make it on the other side but just barely.
Nevertheless, the bridge has several backdrops where one can photograph from different angles. I have a couple more to back this up. The bridge is a real diamond in the rough if you pass on by going from Chemnitz to the Czech border and beyond. One will need a good bike tour to catch this beauty in full. 🙂
This is the first video podcast of the bridge. The bridge is between 90 and 110 years old, spans a tributary of the River Zschopau south of Wolkenstein in central Saxony in the suburb of Niederau. The rest can be found by clicking here.
The 43rd pic of the week takes us back to Dresden, but this time in the Dresdner Heide, a region covered with hilly forests where several small streams, including one that has the smallest waterfall in all of Germany, merge to form the River Priessnitz. That river snakes its way approximately 10 kilometers into the River Elbe near the Waldschlößchenbrücke, dodging past many houses and appartment complexes, flanked by trees and beautiful landscapes.
One can be amazed by the number of historic bridges, one will stumble upon while walking along the small river. This includes the largest of them all, the Carolabrücke. Built in 1876, this three-span, closed spandrel arch bridge, built using sandstone, can be found at Stauffenberg-Allee. The bridge is 82 meters long and spans the Priessnitzer Grund that is as deep as 23 meters. The structure was thoroughly rehabilitated in 2003, where new decking covered the arches and is 2.7 meters wider than its original width of 17.3 meters.
In this picture, one can see the 23 meter tall viaduct that has stood the test of time, covered in many shades of colors through graffiti. Yet despite having countless amounts of traffic crossing it daily, the bridge has a sense of serenity surrounded by the sound of water, as the Priessnitz makes its way to the Elbe. Along the stretch of what is called Priessnitzer Grund, there are a series of concrete statues of approximately 1.5 meters tall, all lined up along the river opposite the trail. Each design depicts a historical or fairy tale form, although it is unknown who made the sculptures, except to say that they appear to be at least a century old. Anyone that knows any information on them are free to comment at the end of the article. This photo was taken at spring time right before the trees started budding, which could not have come at a better time. As the bridge is surrounded by trees and other vegetation, making the photo opportunity practically impossible, the best time to photograph this bridge would have to be when all the leaves are off the trees- hence winter time upto the time the trees start blossoming.
One hint to the photographer when getting to this bridge: The Carolabrücke at Priessnitzer Grund is located in Dresden-Neustadt, between the districts of Albertstadt and Äussere Neustadt. In the Dresden-Neustadt, parking is the most notorious for the streets are very narrow- too narrow for even trucks to pass through and very slim for even the average car in Germany. Parking is most difficult to find for all residents have to park them on the street. When driving through there, please do so at a snail’s pace for safety reasons and to avoid damage to your car as well as to the others’. If you do find one nearby, park it and hoof it to the bridge, for the only way to the bridge is via hiking path along the Priessnitz. It may be a walk and a half but it’s worth the exercise. 🙂
Looks can be deceiving in this pic of the week. At first glance one sees a bridge with a tower. From an oblique angle like this and directly in the sun, one can be fooled easily. However, we have two bridges. In the foreground is a 60+ year old bridge that is a concrete beam bridge. The H-shaped tower belongs to the new, replacement bridge in the background. Since the Summer 2017, work has been progressing on the replacement bridge that will feature a cable-stayed span with one tower. When completed by the end of July of this year, it will be the third bridge of its kind, which has one tower, regardless of what bridge type (cantilever truss, suspension, cable-stayed), and eighth suspension-style bridge along the Zwickau Mulde, including a small section of the Mulde going from Sermuth to Grimma. The total length will be 220 meters, 40 meters longer than its current span, and it will be 5 meters higher.
The current structure, which was built in 1954 to replace a crossing destroyed in the Great Flood, will be torn down afterwards. This bridge is located between Schlunzig and Mosel and provides key access to the Volkswagen Company, which is three kilometers away. The road serves as a backroad between Glauchau and Zwickau.
After a sneak preview of our tour guide series on Dresden, we will look at the first part, which is located southwest of the city. Rabenauer Grund is a hilly, vastly forested region that features a height difference of up to 100 meters between the lowest and highest points. The lowest point is the River Red Weisseritz, which slices through the hills like a butcher knife, as it snakes its way to join the White Weisseritz at Freital. The highest point is the Rabenauer Höhe, a point that is nearly 360 meters above sea level and is located near the site of the Rainbow School in Rabenau. The region stretches for over 25 square kilometers, stretching from Freital and the community of Rabenau, seven kilometers away. It joins two other forests, including the Dippoldswalder Heide, which is southeast of Rabenau and extends into the Ore Mountains. Much of the area to the north and west of Rabenau is uninhabitable due to the steepness of the hills and cliffs. The area has been protected by the “flora and fauna” laws since 1961.
For hikers and train enthusiasts, the Rabenauer Grund provides them with a chance to explore the wild side of the region southwest of Dresden. There are many observational points that provide spectacular views of the valley and points beyond. The Freital-Rabenau-Kipsdorf six-gauge train, opened in 1880, runs along the steep cliffs of the Red Weisseritz, parallel to the hiking trail along the west bank. The rail line is one of only a handful of its kind still in service in Germany, and still provides a direct connection to the mountains and the resort towns of Dippoldswalde and Kipsdorf.
As far as the bridges in the region are concerned, over two dozen bridges and smaller crossings can be found in the Rabenauer Grund, 90% of them can be found along the rail line. Sadly, all but four of them were rebuilt after the Great Flood of 2002. In August of that year, floodwaters destroyed or severely damaged structures in its path, washing out the entire rail line, undermining every street and trail, and crippling the infrastructure. It was the same flood that wiped out almost every single bridge along the Weisseritz in Freital, as we will see in the next part, and eventually flooded 80% of Dresden itself, despite desperate attempts to keep the waters of the Elbe out of the historic city. It took six years to rebuild the bridges along the Weisseritz and 15 years to restore the rail line to its original form.
During the visit in June 2017, everything was functioning just like it was before that Great Flood. Unique about this region is most of the bridges rebuilt along the river look similar to the original structure. This makes for some unique photos of the bridges in the landscape for historic structures, even if rebuilt to its original form, coform nicely to the green, especially those that are steel, wooden structures, like covered bridges and arch bridges made of stone- the three that one will find when exploring the bridges in the Rabenauer Grund.
The tour guide will show you the bridges you will find in the Rabenauer Grund. Because of very little information so far, the bridges can be found in the Maps below. Just simply click onto the points where the crossings are located and have a look at the pics. If you have some information that will be of use for this portion of the tour guide, please feel free to comment or send an e-mail. Please note, PG stands for plate girders and they were numbered based on the visit going from the train station in Rabenau to Freital, a distance of 10 river kilometers.