The bridge of Arta has gone down in history: the folk song describes the difficulty of its construction, since “All day they were building it, and in the night it would collapse”. Thus, the famous legend of the Bridge was born: the Chief Mason sacrificed his wife in the foundation of the bridge, in order for the construction to be completed.
However, the way the foundations of the Bridge was constructed indicates that the first attempts to build it had already been made in the Hellenistic period, when king Pyrrhus transferred the capital of his kingdom to Amvracia. During the Byzantine period the arches of the bridge and its relief arches were constructed, while in the17th c. the bridge took the form it has nowadays.
The dimensions of the Bridge (145 meters length and 3.75 meters width) cause the admiration of the visitors. Even from today’s perspective it is considered as a miracle of mechanics and proves the amazing technique of the Epirus stoneworkers.
Next to the bridge, the historical plane tree stands tall. It has been declared as a “listed natural monument” since 1976. The neoclassical building on the other side of the bridge was used as a customs office after 1881, since the Bridge of Arta was the border between the Greek territory and the areas which were still under the Ottoman rule. Today it houses the Folklore Museum of the city.