The stone railed bridge in Solkan

Solkan bridge is the most prominent bridge on the Bohinj Railway route between Jesenice and Gorica, and one of the most famous bridges in Slovenia. According to the known data, the bridge has the longest stone arch spanning over a river in the world and the longest stone arch among all railway bridges.

The span of the main arch is 85 m. Rudolf Jaussner drew the plans for the bridge, and Leopold Orley directed its construction. The length of the whole object is 220 m. The bridge was under construction for two years, from spring 1904 until December 1905. The work was hindered mainly by the Soča River, which rose several times. For the main arch, they needed 4533 exactly fitted stones of limestone.

During World War I the bridge, mined by the Austrian army, was severely damaged. After the Kobarid breakthrough in October 1917, it was provisionally repaired and in 1918 trains were again crossing the bridge. The nation of Italy thoroughly repaired it and the stone arch was rebuilt. The work lasted until 1927. Since then the bridge has been repaired several times, but it has preserved it original form and significance even after the construction of a new road bridge for the road towards the hills of Brda.

Along Soška Street we arrive soon at the “Brda” road bridge across the Soča River which has the longest arch of reinforced concrete in Slovenia from which the truly most courageous are willing to jump, into the void, tied only by an elastic cord (yes, - a bungee jump!). But our view is soon caught by the Solkan railway bridge which is considered the last among the great stone bridges and which is with its 85m long stone arch really the longest in the world. It was completed in 1905 and traffic started to run on it a year later. The journey of the royal train across the bridge was greeted by thousands who made it clear to the heir-presumptive Emperor Franz Ferdinand that this is where the Slavic race lives. At the beginning of the Sixth Battle at the Soča Front, during the night from 8 to 9 August 1916, the strategists of the Austro-Hungary Army blew it up so that the Italians could not get hold of it. Later, when after the Treaty of Rapallo, the territory was occupied by Italians, the stone arch was reconstructed although the line did not have the significance of a great transport artery that it once had and even though in construction, only reinforced concrete was used for bridges of such magnitude. During the Second World War, quite often, the bridge was a target of air raids by the Allies but it was hit by only one bomb which, luckily, did not explode. In 1985 it was declared a technical monument.

The railway bridge in Solkan_2012.pdf