Immediately after its completion, the Žďák Bridge was considered a technical wonder of the world and the largest single-arch steel bridge. It was built in order to bridge the Orlická dam reservoir near Orlík nad Vltavou and in the area of the middle Povltaví it still forms one of the building landmarks.
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Interesting facts Žďák Bridge
The Žďák Bridge connects both banks of the Vltava near the village of Orlík nad Vltavou and near Milevsko. It got its name from the settlement flooded during the filling of the Orlická dam reservoir and its construction began in the same year in which the construction of the Orlická dam began, ie in 1957. It was completed in 1965. Its parameters were quite exceptional for their time. The length of the bridge reaches 540 m, the span of the bridge arch is 330 m. It then supports the structure, along which the road leads from Pilsen to Tábor and further to Brno. It is located at a height of 100 m above the former bottom of the river and 50 m above the lake. Thanks to the specific form and construction with one bridge arch, the construction is extremely light.
At the time when the Žďák Bridge was built, it was the largest steel single-arch bridge in the world. Since then, however, he has lost his first place and moved to eighth place.
The bridge is accessible to tourists in several ways. One of them is the nature trail Zvíkov - Orlík, the other is several local trails. The parking lot is located at both ends of the bridge and at the left we also find refreshments. The view from the bridge itself is definitely worth a longer stop. When crossing the bridge road, visitors have a wonderful view of the level of the Orlická reservoir and the road that leads under the bridge and which allows a view of the bridge structure is also very interesting.
The Žďákov road crossing, which connected the banks of the Vltava, was known from earlier times. Even before the flooding of Žďák, you could find a ferry and a wooden bridge here. In 1640, during the Thirty Years' War, a ship's bridge was built by the garrison of Orlík Castle, which was later crossed by the imperial army during a march against the Swedes. In 1744, two wooden bridges were even built here, over which the imperial army crossed in order to expel Prussia from southern Bohemia. Later, the bridge was also built here in 1945, by engineers of the Soviet army.
In earlier times, the local ferry was one of the most frequented ferries on the middle Vltava.
Author: Andrea Štyndlová