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Home 28 June 2022
Culture Architecture Traditional Architecture Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Prefecture of Xanthi

North side of the Stamati Bridge
(Photo: Nikolaos Th. Kokkas)
Symbols curved on the Stamati bridge
(Photo: Nikolaos Th. Kokkas)

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Neoclassic Architecture
Traditional Architecture
Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
Prefecture of Drama
Prefecture of Evros
Prefecture of Kavala
Prefecture of Xanthi
Prefecture of Rodopi
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Stamati bridge

Under Construction
Source: C.E.T.I.
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The Stamati bridge is 330 m in height with S-N orientation (north exit to Oreo). It is 3.5 km away from Sminthi running after the old road from Sminti to Oreo. The path ending here is coming from the Prosilio and Chriso villages (passing through Tokmakovo) and after the bridge it continues to Oreo and Kiknos. The path beginning from Orestini meets the one from Isaia at the Gatskovo settlement. The name of the bridge is the same with the one that the settlement next to it has: Stamati Mos (‘most’ in Bulgarian means ‘bridge’) or Stamat Kiouprou. The Stamati Mos (Vasilochori) does not have to do with the Stamatio village (Stamatatsko) that is situated in the southwest part of the Papa bridge and it was built in 560 m altitude around the Tsouka peak (634 m alt). Using the same name for the bridge and the settlements is not accidental. The educator G. Taouktsoglou notes in 1961 that ‘Stamatis’ was a priest and a very active member of the elders of the village (dimogerontia). The Pomak inhabitants mentioned that he was a craftsman who made the bridge under the Sultan’s assignment.
The Stamati bridge is a three bowed one with S-N orientation (north exit to Oreo). The decking length is in 31 m and the width in 2.80 m The parapet is high, in 55 cm. The arch is 26 m in length and 8.20 m in height while it has a distance of 1.30 m from the top of the decking. The stone binding of the bow is representative of the alternate placement of bigger and smaller stones through the scotches of the bow in order to strengthen the construction. The stones used for the big bow are 53 cm in length. The northern bow is 5.80 m in length and 5.50 m in height while the length of the southern bow is in 1.50 m and the height in 4 m. 142 stones, 52 cm in length, were used for the construction of the eastern part of the big bow. The stones used for the smaller bows are 7 cm smaller in length (their length is in 45 cm) from the ones of the central bow. The bowing of the big bow begins from the water surface but stands 2 m in height. The cornice of the bow is in 5 cm depth. We observe a triangular salient at the northwestern part of the middle bow that protects the abutment from the water pressure. The height of this ‘stern’ is in 2.20 m while the sides of the triangle being 1.80 m and 1.90 m in length correspondingly. There is a square hole at the abutment of the same bow, one of those that were used for the scaffold. The rest of the holes were covered from the constructors.
We should notice the three symbols carved at the right part of the eastern side of the big bow of the Stamati bridge. The visible symbols on three stones are:
A. A symbol looking like a human figure or a key. It has a circle at the upper part, a long line and two more lines underneath that are llooking like legs (the left shorter than the right). You can also see a bunch in the middle of the central line going towards the right side.
B. Symbol like a sward or a flame. The upper part looks like a curved sward edge and the underneath part looks like a hilt.
C. The symbol looks like a fishbone or a corncob. You can see a straight line and two chains of smaller lines which intersect the central line. The upper and underneath part of the symbol is defaced.

We should note that the symbol that looks like a fishbone also exists at the key of the big bow of the bridge that we find at the 5th km of the road from Xanthi to Stavroupoli. This pattern is clearer. The eight lines beginning from the central axis are bigger and at the upper part a circle is shaped that looks like a head. At the Stamati bridge the shape is oblong. The careful sculpturing of the symbols reveals that they were made after the building of the bridge. So they must be connected with the constructor or the granter. How could we explain these symbols? Are they just decorative? Are they a kind of signing? Is there any connection between the three symbols, codified information or a story? We cannot give an answer regarding these questions at the moment.
The contemporary state of the bridge includes the demolition of the southwestern part and the construction of a supportive wall to prevent the collapse. The restoration was made before three or four decades.