Shahrestan bridge is one of the oldest bridges you ca see when you visit Iran. It is said to have been dated back to the Sassanian times but there have been many improvements and repairs made during the rules of the Deilamian, Safavid and Seljuq kings. The structure measures 108 meters across the river and has 13 primary chambers. Natural stones make up the foundation on which the arches have been raised. Located in the old district of Jay, it is a popular place frequented by tourists who visit Isfahan.
The Ancient Model
When you travel to the east of Isfahan, you will come across this architectural splendor which gives a grand view of the river Zayande gushing below it. The Shahrestan bridge provides a path for people to travel from the village of Shahrestan in the north to the fertile lands beyond the bridge to the south.
Like many of the other bridges and dams in Iran, this too has a strong ancient influence. You can find many similarities between this structure and other solid structure of ancient Iran. Saruj, the traditional cement of Iranian architects plays a major role in the stability of the foundation of this structure.
When you visit Isfahan, you will be impressed to see the engineering masterpieces applied to many of the bridges including the Shahrestan bridge. The piers have secondary water channels built into them which widen along the course of the arches in the structure. This helps a lot of water to flow through them.
Further ingenuity has been made use of by providing extra venting channels in the secondary channels. This prevents too much water from flowing through the narrower sections and damaging the structure.
History Near Shahrestan Bridge
You will also learn about the assassination of Al-Rashid Bellah who was an Abbasid Caliph here when you visit Iran. Ismailis killed him in 1138 on the Shahrestan bridge. There is a shrine in the nearby village dedicated to Shahzadeh Hossein, which is said to contain his remains. You can witness this very old bridge in Iran when you come to visit this country.