The remnants of the old bridge or “Eski Köprü “ standing on the river probably is the icon and most famous sight of Hasankeyf after the castle. It can be seen best on top of a cliff or while walking along the new bridge.
The massive blocks of stone rising out of the Tigris River are the fragments of an early 12th-century bridge that was part of the Silk Road trading route. It is a four-arch bridge that connects the two banks of the Tigris river built (or repaired) in 1116 during the Artuqid Dynasty on the order of its chieftain Kara Arslan Bey. It was considered to be the largest from the medieval period.
While strolling along the sandy river bank, I passed under a beautiful archway on one of the remnant of the bridge with what seemed to be a local’s house built on top of it. Another archway is on other side with an beside the minaret of the Rizk Mosque.
If you want to get really near, cross the new concrete bridge on the other side and get on the slope down where you’ll most likely encounter some cows grazing around the grassy area onto a small village. Don’t worry, people here are friendly, they’ll greet you along the way – or better yet, greet them first with either Merhaba or Salam (peace).
This historical bridge will soon be gone, submerged 500 meters or more under the water when the Ilisu Hydroelectric Dam opens.
Would you not feel privileged to have seen it before it's gone? Because of that, Hasankeyf is an excellent destination added to your traveling itinerary in case you're in the country.
|The new concrete bridge adjacent to Eski Kopru.|