The Red Bridge in Yerevan

The Red Bridge (Karmir Kamurj in Armenian), also known as the Old Hrazdan Bridge or Hodge Pilava Bridge, is an iconic structure steeped in the history and culture of Yerevan.

The name ‘Red’ comes from the volcanic tuff, a type of rock material, it was constructed from. This distinctive red color has made the bridge a well-known landmark. It is also sometimes referred to as the Hodge Pilava Bridge, named after a wealthy individual from Kanaker who funded its reconstruction.

The bridge spans 80 meters in length and stands 11 meters high. It was designed with four spans – two in the middle and two along the banks of the Hrazdan River. The bridge’s strategic location and design underscore its historical significance. In the Middle Ages, all caravans traveling into the city had to cross this bridge. It also served as a critical link between the Yerevan fortress and the Ararat Valley.

However, the bridge has faced its share of challenges. In 1679, an earthquake destroyed the original structure that stood in its place. Reconstruction took place in 1851, resulting in a two-span design, with additional openings at either end to accommodate irrigation water.

Despite its historical significance, the importance of the Red Bridge diminished over time, especially after the construction of the Victory Bridge. The structure was eventually abandoned and left to the elements. Nonetheless, it remains an important symbol of Armenia’s rich history and architectural heritage. Its distinctive red hue and the stories it carries continue to captivate locals and tourists alike.

Vigen Avetisyan

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