türıkçe links to original Turkish article
(Hürriyet Newspaper, 1 November 2015)
When the Sultan says build me a bridge in 3 weeks, well...
With this article you will be introduced to the little known
8th wonder of the world. Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent
had a bridge build across the Davra swamp and river at Osijek
in today's Croatia.
The bridge was 7 kilometers long, 7 meters wide and was built
in 20 days by 25,000 men, without using even one metal nail. Legend
has it the bridge was designed by the famous Ottoman architect
Mimar Sinan. Over the bridge thousands of cavalrymen and soldiers
of the Ottoman army passed during their expeditions to the west.
At the time, Süleyman was 72 years-old and was intent on storming
Vienna on this journey to Zigetvar, Hungary. En route, and in order
to reach the Hungarian plain, the Drava River and its swamp had to be
crossed. On 6 June 1566, Süleyman issued a ferman (order) to the
Ottoman governors of Peç and Mohaç to have the bridge built. Süleyman
passed over the bridge alive on the way to Zigetvar but he came back
dead, having died of natural causes at Zigetvar on 7 September 1566.
In 2008 work to clean up a lake near the village of Darda turned up
long, thick logs with pointed tips. Research by the Zadar Underwater
Research Institute determined that the findings were related to the
bridge, which up until then had only been known about from
engravings and war notes.
The bridge had been burned by the Austrians in 1686 and Mladen
Pesiç of the institute has recovered some of the burned pieces.
Based on radioactive carbon dating and dendochronology techniques,
the wood was determined to have been from the period between
1440 and 1650. The wood was joined together without metal nails,
using the wooden nails and contemporary binding methods.