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“Gingerbread” Kremerbryuke

The bridge, originally invented by people as a construction connecting two points, has long ceased to perform a narrowly applied function. In the modern sense, such an architectural structure can be an art object, a photo zone, a place of trade, and a residential building. But Kremerbryuk in the list of the most original and “multi-profile” bridges of the world can be safely put first. In its beauty, practicality and size, it is unlikely to be equal. And this is despite the fact that this bridge was built over 600 years ago.

Burned and reborn
In fact, the bridge in the city of Erfurt, thrown over the branch of the river Gera, was erected even earlier – in 1117. However, his fate did not work: the wooden structure was destroyed six times in a row by a fire. In 1293, on the site of the once-burnt-out bridge, local residents built a new, 79-meter-high bridge of limestone and sandstone, on which ends stone churches are located.

In 1472 a fire broke out again in Erfurt, and it was so strong that more than half of the city buildings were destroyed by fire, including part of the stands on the bridge. By 1486 Kremerbryuk reconstructed. Here appeared beautiful three-story half-timbered buildings (“gingerbread” houses of recognizable European style with vertical, horizontal, and diagonal external beams). They go along the entire bridge in two dense rows, between which there is a cobbled street-alley.

The width of the bridge in the process of reconstruction was increased to 26 meters, and the distance between the two rows of houses was 5.5 m.

In the XVIII century, the number of houses in connection with the restructuring of buildings was reduced from 69 to 38. All of them, as if cobbled together, are two long multi-colored “walls” on the one and the other side of the bridge. In this form, this delightful residential bridge has been preserved to this day.

Three centuries ago, the church of St. Benedict, located at one of the end points of the bridge, was torn down, making in its place a square that connects two parallel rivers of the city. At the same time, it was planned to demolish the Kremerbruke bridge, but local residents insisted that they retain this incredible beauty and the authorities were forced to agree with public opinion.

After the last fire, the bridge no longer burned. He survived the Second World War with its shelling, having suffered minimally. Periodically buildings tint and repair.

For a long time this building is called the “bridge of shopkeepers” or “merchant’s bridge”. This is due to the fact that since ancient times there was trade. Nowadays, in the shops located on the lower floors, souvenirs are sold. This is mainly hand-painted ceramics, jewelry, items decorated with wood carving and antiques. There are also restaurants here, one of which serves delicious Thuringian cuisine.

In the picturesque Kremerbryuk street (or rather, on the bridge) you can walk slowly, admiring the colorful trade shops, signs, windows. By the way, the width of the pavement allows you to drive and a small car.

The overwhelming majority of houses located on the bridge are occupied by artisans who live and work here on the upper floors. The remaining buildings are in municipal ownership. By the way, Erfurt is recognized as the longest inhabited bridge in the world.

The bridge is considered the pearl of the city, and every year, on the third weekend of June, a bright and cheerful festival-festival takes place in his honor. Residents dress in clothes, stylized under the Middle Ages, music is playing everywhere, street performers perform. Knightly tournaments are held in the vicinity of the bridge, a fair opens, and folk folk characters Hans the Fool and Til Ulenshpigel amuse the public with their clown numbers.

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