May 4, 2009
100 Years Bridge Oberndorf - Laufen
Oberndorf has witnessed a large number of devastating floods during the last centuries. The first record of a bridge being washed away dates back to 1316. The damage was often caused by flotsam which was caught between the wooden bridge pylons and forced the water to dam up. Ultimately the bridges were often just washed away. During the last decade of the 19th century four floods cased great damage, and a decision was made to relocate the town to a more elevated plateau.
The Bavarian Laufen and Austrian Oberndorf developed the plan to construct a stable bridge made of stone and iron incorporating a greater span. As the bridge was in close proximity to both the old town square of Laufen and the new centre of Oberndort, an aesthetic design was implemented.
The two-pylon construction had three apertures, the largest of which was on the Austrian side to allow for shipping needs. The construction was made of 648 tonnes of Martin River iron ore, with a chain-like curved upper cable and a straight lower cable. The facing of the pillars and decorative elements required an additional 67 tonnes of material to ensure a pleasing design. Eagles with spread wings were placed upon the bridge portals, adding to the elegant impression of the construction. The bridge was inaugurated on the 2nd of June 1903 in a collective festival of inhabitants from Laufen and Oberndorf.
Stamp Issue: 2003-06-03