The bridge on the Prut river in Yaremche


Title: Railway Bridge on the River Prut in Yaremche
Author: unknown
Year taken: between 1891 and 1895  
Kept at: Walery Rzewuski Museum of History of Photography in Krakow

The black-and white photograph has the shape of a horizontal rectangle, 25 x 39.6 cm in size. It is part of a montage comprised of eleven photographs:  five documentary ones showing the construction of the single-track railway bridge in Yaremche on the River Prut (which was part of the Stanislavov to Voronenka rail line), and six landscape photos.

The centre of the image features a stone bridge cutting through the Prut River valley. The slight angle of the camera makes the structure appear somewhat taller on the right and shorter on the left.

The bridge is made of stone joints, covered with regular cobblestone. It has a single span whose supports (abutments) are linked by an arch at the top. To the right and left of the main span are corner arcades – spaces between the extrados (the top part of the arch) and the adjacent side walls. Each of them is filled by four tall and narrow arches.

On both sides, the bridge is extended by a viaduct supported by high pillars, with semi-circular arches at the top. On the left, six arches of the viaduct can be seen. On the right, the viaduct arches are obscured by coniferous trees.

Through the clearance of the bridge’s main span a smaller wooden road bridge, supported by three stone pillars can be seen in the distance.

Under the bridge, the narrow band of Prut River is flowing towards the background, its waters calm.

Above the river, to the left is a high embankment with a wooden shack standing on top.
In the foreground, at the bottom of the photograph is the river bank, covered with large irregular stones and broken branches of deciduous trees lying around.

Further in the distance, in the background of the image is wooded hill. The sky is light and clear.

The 96-kilometre Stanislavov-Voronenka railway line was built between 1891 and 1894. The section spanning 38 kilometres lies in the Prut River valley, narrow and surrounded by steep, wooded slopes. The Stanislavov-Voronienka line cuts across Prut River as many as four times. When the section was being built, the ground was solid and the stone and wood material was plentiful. Back then, the bridge on the Prut in Yaremche had the longest span in Europe (65 metres). Its total length was 205 metres, and its height 32 metres. It was destroyed by the retreating Russian troops during the First World War in July 1917.

The engineer responsible for the construction of the bridge was Stanisław Rawicz Kosiński (1847 – 1923). He was a graduate of the Technical University of Prague, inspector of Austrian railways, and from 1906 onwards served as Director of the Construction and Maintenance Department at the Ministry of Railway Construction in Vienna.