Pira Delal

Pira Delal, also called the Stone Bridge, is in the town of Zakho in the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq along the border of Turkey. This ancient arched stone bridge is a very

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Pira Delal, also called the Stone Bridge, is in the town of Zakho in the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq along the border of Turkey. This ancient arched stone bridge is a very scenic site for photos and a picnic. It has a unique appearance and crosses a rocky  stream.

 

In the past, the Pira Delal bridge was the only place residents could easily cross the Little Khabur river. Pir means beautiful in the Kurdish language, so the name of this bridge is literally translated as "the beautiful bridge".[i] The establishment of this site dates back to Abbasid times, approximately 750 to 945 AD.[ii] The construction of this architectural attraction is somehwat of a mystery, since the cut stones are generally larger than could be achieved by hand. There is also a folktale that the man who built the bridge had his hands cut off upon completion to ensure no competing  bridge of beauty could ever be made. The unique v-shape arch and tall height of 15.5 meters give it an unusual design. 

 

Currently, some residents and political leaders of Zakho wish the bridge to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site so that its longevity can be ensured for the enjoyment by future generations. At this time, the maintenance of the bridge is not well looked after.[iii]

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[i] "Pira Delal Bridge in Zakho, Kurdistan, Iraq." The Guardian Witness. Retrieved 2014-04-17.

 

[ii] Karen Dabrowska, Geoff Hann. Iraq Then And Now: A Guide to the Country and its People. Bradt Travel Guides, 2008. p. 177.

 

[iii] Abdul-Khaleq Dosky. "History's Link: Dohuk's Roman-Era Bridge in Danger of Collapse." Niqash Society. Retrieved 2014-04-17.

The Pira Delal is located in the southern part of the town of Zakho. It is only accessed by foot, since the age limits its stability and weight-bearing abilities. Caution is advised when traversing this historic site, since the bridge is not well-maintained and erosion continues to degrade its features. To find, head south on the Pira Bedirxan St, then right when you reach the end. Walk about 2,200 feet to see the bridge.

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