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The Bridge Over River Olt, SlatinaCod 1675


More than 100 years ago, when there was no bridge over the river Olt Slatina, at the exit towards Craiova, people used “moving bridges”, for transportation from one side to the other side of the river. The fact that there was no fixed bridge was a difficulty faced by the people of Slatina of medieval period, at this point many of trade routes over time were crossing each other. Around 1846, is taken into account the question of building a fixed bridge over the river Olt, the ruler of the Land of Romanian, from that period, Gheorghe Bibescu, will be the one who will lay the cornerstone of the building on 24 June of that year. On this occasion, the Olt County Prefecture organized a big celebration.
To build what, for that time, was the most impressive work in the country brought together craftsmen and materials from all over the country. The works were supervised by a team of Italian specialists, led by engineer Giovanni Balzano.
With the occasion of the inauguration of the timber bridge over the river Olt, on 8 September 1847 local government organizes impressive celebrations during three days. It seems, however, that the opening day was slightly forced because on that date was celebrating her name day Maria Bibescu, the wife of of Prince. The frequent floods on the river Olt led, unfortunately, to the destruction of the wooden bridge, and people had to use the boat again for passage from one shore to the other.
Once the construction funded by Prince Gheorghe Bibescu is taken by the rough waters of the river Olt, which at that time was not regularized and flowed at random, local government and the inhabitants of Slatina assail the new ruler with requests to build a new bridge. In 1862 two bridges were built in Slatina, one over the river Olt and another one over the affluent Beica, for which the ruler Alexandru Ioan Cuza had available a budget of three million. This time, the pillars of the building were to be made of stone. The work on these two bridges were to be completed in 1867, and during construction, over the river Olt passes the future king of Romania Carol I. He had to use a walking bridge in order to reach Bucharest. Neither the two bridges will not last, being taken by the water. The third attempt to build a fixed bridge over the river Olt, in Slatina, will be most successful. The works for an iron bridge begin in 1888 and came to an end in 1891, the positioning of the building being right at the union of the old bridges over Beica and river Olt. The project was supervised, this time, by a Romanian engineer-Nicolae Davidescu.
To the name of Nicolae Davidescu will be linked to the further development and modernization of Slatina, he, becoming the chief architect of the city. The bridge over river Olt is the second attempt of implementing the architecture of iron, first presented at the Paris World Exhibition of 1899. The construction supervised by engineer Nicolae Davidescu was achieved after the success of the one from Cernavoda by Anghel Saligny.



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