The Pul-i-Khaju at Isfahan.
The use of a bridge to serve also as a dam is not uncommon in Persia, where the scarcity of water necessitates impounding it in reservoirs for irrigation of the land (H. Shirley 26).
travellers made their parched and dusty way through thte guarded gateways of the bridge, seeking rest and refreshment in teh cool shaded pavilions and caravanserai to be found upon it. For to the Persians, bridges were much more than simply a means of crossing a river. By the seventeenth century some of them, such as the Allahverdi-Khan and Pul-i-Khaju, were designed as delightful retreats form teh heat and dust of the desert (H. Shirley 27).
The superstructure is built on a dam which impounds the river to a height fo six feet. From this reservoir irrigation channels lead the water to the fertile lands on either side. The dam is of stone, pierced by narrow openings, the flow through which is regulated by sluices. The bridge is 85 feet wide and consists of some twenty-four brick arches with an overall length of 462 feet... Together with Old London bridge in its prime and the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, it constitutes one fo the great bridges that were closely linked by the buildings on them to the multitudinous life of their times (H. Shirley 28).
Japan is the home of the small picturesque bridge of timber arches, frequently built without the use of a single metal nail or bolt. Christian Barman cites Japanese bridges as examples of ‘exquisitely perfected temporary construction’. Briges and temples were often rebuilt anually. the famous Kintai-kyo bridge at Iwakuni used to have its five arches rebuilt in succession, so that the whole bridge was renewed every twenty-five years. According to Japenese belief structures must never be allowwed to fall into decay as that would enfeeble the spirit of continuity on which the survival of mankind depends (H. Shirley 32).
Luoyang Bridge, China’s earliest stone beam bridge built in the seaport, spans the Luoyang River from south to north in the southern suburb of Quanzhou... Luoyang Bridge was built from 1053 and was completed in 1059... Built from light grey granite, the bridge resembles a silver dragon lying above the green water. The bridge features ship-like piers and a unique method of oyster consolidation. The ship-like piers could easily cut the rapid current in the river. Thousands of oysters were bred around the footstones and piers so that their secretions would act as kind of cement. This was the world’s first example of the use of biology in bridge building and shows the great wisdom of the ancient Chinese people.
Alcantara Bridge over the Tagus was built by the Roman, Caius Julius Lacer, for the Emperor Trajan.
“Some of the mightiest and most impressive Roman Bridges, which fall broadly into two groups, are to be found in Spain. On the one hand there is the long low bridge of many nearly equal arches acros a broad river valley. Of this kind are the bridges of Salamanca, Cardova, and merida. As a contrast there is themajestic majestic lofty bridge of few and unequal arches thrown across a wide rocky gorge (H. Shirley 21).”