Mikulov

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Interesting facts about the bridge construction

For the sake of comparison: the bridges across the river Dyje on this estate and the neighbouring Liechtenstein land alike used to be wooden as late as the 19th century – only exceptionally from combined materials, such as the late Baroque bridge in Bulhary. The builder had not only in mind the visual impact of the bridge on the visitor, but also, through incorporating the section with the lifting deck as an element of defensive architecture, he sought to create an impression of a fortress-like character of the place, which corresponded, too, with the terraced walls around the summer residence. It is a consummate engineering work which leaves us with the question about who was its originator - perhaps one of the northern Italian fortress master builders, who at that time worked for influential, politically active aristocrats in Bohemia and Moravia.

The Mikulov estate had a sufficient use of quarries supplying stone for constructional elements of the bridge as well as its pavement and penning of the deck. The 17th century land registers record 13 of them. They were situated in various localities of the estate, with limestone predominantly being quarried around Mikulov and the Portz Island. Bricks, too, were of local origin, as shown by their marking with the letter N (Nicolsburg). In the first half of the 17th century there was only one brickworks in Mikulov, however with its three kilns surprisingly large for its time. Given the same technology used, it was also possible to burn lime at the brickworks, used in turn to make mortar for the bridge construction. In the mid-17th century, perhaps owing to the consequences of the Thirty Years’ War, only two brick kilns were left in operation: one for 24 000 and the other for 19 000 bricks per one kiln-firing. Other brickyards were in the nearby villages within the estate, such as Dolní Věstonice, Sedlec u Mikulova, Bulhary and Pavlov.

Baroque bricks

Baroque bricks taken out of the loosened structures of the bridge were reused in its restoration. They are marked with the letter N (Nicolsburg).

The original quoin stone

The original quoin stone (keystone) found before the present restoration of the bridge.

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