When Was Unkapani Bridge Built?

When was the Unkapani Bridge Built?
When was the Unkapani Bridge Built?

Atatürk Bridge, or Unkapanı Bridge, is a bridge connecting the historical peninsula to the Beyoğlu side of Istanbul. It connects Unkapanı Küçükpazar district of Fatih district and Azapkapı districts of Beyoğlu district. It is a continuation of Atatürk Boulevard starting from Aksaray district and coming to Unkapanı.

Unkapanı Bridge was first built in 1836, during the reign of the thirtieth Ottoman Sultan Mahmut the Second, by “Bezmialem Valide Sultan”, the mother of the next monarch and the wife of Mahmut the Second, using all wooden materials.

Contrary to the custom, it was called the "Hayratiye Bridge" by the people, since no toll is required for bridge crossings. Another name, in terms of the district, was the Jewish Bridge.

Again, the responsibility for the construction of the bridge, which was placed on wooden pontoons and gained the ability to float, was given to Ahmed Fevzi Pasha, the captain of the sea. “Unkapani Bridge”, which was completed in the Golden Horn Shipyards under the supervision of Fevzi Ahmet Pasha; It was four hundred meters long and ten meters wide. The opening ceremony of the bridge, which was built in a way that opens and closes in order not to prevent the ships coming from the Bosphorus and the Marmara Sea to enter and exit the Golden Horn, was carried out by the Second Mahmut himself on horseback.

In 1875, as a result of an agreement made for one hundred and thirty-five thousand gold coins, a French company built a metal bridge instead of a wooden one. The new bridge, which is seven hundred and eighty meters long and eighteen meters wide, continued to serve until 1912.

In 1912, this bridge was dismantled and replaced with the third Eminönü - Karaköy bridge, called the "Galata Bridge". As a result of a severe storm in 1936, this bridge was also destroyed and the "Atatürk Bridge", which we use today, was built in its place. Atatürk Bridge is made of wood, just like the "Hayratiye Bridge", which was first manufactured. The floor of this wooden bridge, built on twenty-four pontoons, was covered with asphalt when the calendar was showing the year 1954. The bridge, which is four hundred seventy-seven meters long and twenty-five meters wide, still serves the people of Istanbul.

It has been announced that the bridge will be removed after the tube crossing project to be built in the Golden Horn and planned to be completed in 2018. However, this project was not realized.

Due to the fact that the junction at the Unkapanı foot of the bridge in 2021 was an obstacle to the road between Cibali and Eminönü and the T5 tramway could be destroyed in a possible earthquake with the completion of the economic life of the bridge, it was decided by IMM to renovate the Unkapanı Junction and the works started on May 18, 2021. and two connecting rods were put into service on 31 July. The remaining two connecting branches are planned to be built after the completion of the tunnel construction of the T5 tram.

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