The covered bridge in Lovech with new multimedia decoration

Photo: Архив
When one mentions the Bulgarian town of Lovech, situated between three hills at the foot of the Balkan Mountain and cut through by the curves of the Osam River, we immediately recall the covered bridge that has become an emblem of the city. Lovech was a rich center of handcrafts during the times of the Ottoman Empire with a population of more than 20 thousands people and earned the name ‘Golden Lovech.’At that time the town had not one but several covered bridges. Only one of the covered bridges stands today but it is the most beautiful one, the work of great master builder of the Bulgarian Revival period Kolyu Ficheto. The bridge was a natural extension of the commercial street of the town.

The turbulent Osam River ruined several old bridges in Lovech, which were originally built of wood, and later stone foundations were placed. After a flood the management of the city turned to the best Bulgarian builder of the time - Kolyu Fitcheto. He built the characteristic bridge placing a wood structure on a stone foundation. Indeed, his creation withstood the vicissitudes of time, survived the Russo-Turkish War of Bulgaria from 1877-78, and the great flood of 1897. In 1925 the bridge burned in a fire of unknown nature. In 1931 it was rebuilt. In the 80s it was reconstructed once again and now it looks close to the original by Kolyu Fitcheto. Today the covered bridge in Lovech is the pedestrian link between the old quarter "Varosha" and the new part of the city and one of the main tourist attractions. These days a multimedia show focuses the attention to the bridge.

© Photo: official video of the project

On a water screen near the bridge three-dimensional animation tells its exciting history and offers a look into the future. 

“Light and sound effects show the history of the bridge - from the idea for its building through its burning and new construction,” explains Mayor Mincho Kazandjiev. “The bridge was restored several times to its present form as a covered pedestrian link. We recreate the past and future of the bridge through three-dimensional animation under a project entitled “Lovech - Roots of the past, Bridges to the Future."

© Photo: official video of the project

The “Balkan Bridges Talk" project is part of the Regional Initiative for South Eastern Europe by UNESCO. The aim is building links between people on the Balkans through art. The project presents the culture of 11 cities in the Balkans, known for their bridges.

The first of a series of projects was implemented in Turkey related to a bridge on the Maritsa River. For the first time the Lovech Bridge Talks animation was shown on May 13 this year. The water screen for multimedia shows near the bridge can be used together with the recently constructed floating stage on the river, which is also unique, says Mayor Mincho Kazandjiev.

© Photo: official video of the project

“It is the only floating stage on a river on the Balkan peninsula. There are such stages on lakes but in the river, things are very different. We want to provide a more interesting stage of our local talents.”

Other cities and bridges that are part of the project are the Berat Bridge in Albania, Mostar's Old Bridge and the bridge on the Drina in Visegrad (Bosnia and Herzegovina). The Stagira Bridge near Thessaloniki (Greece) is included too, as well as bridges in Kosovo, Serbia, Croatia, and Montenegro. 

English version: Alexander Markov

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