Göltzsch Viaduct

08468 Reichenbach

Tel. : +49 (0) 3765 392 808

Fax : +49 (0) 3765 392806



Industrial Heritage

Sheer scale

A bridge that serves as a prison? It almost existed, but this design for a crossing over the deep Göltzsch Valley failed, as did so many other competition entries of architects because they were unable to demonstrate with static calculations that they could meet the challenges of the stress from rail transport. Remedial action was provided by Johann Andreas Schubert, designer of the first German locomotive and professor at the Royal Technical School in Dresden. It was his own structurally analysed design that was finally realized. The sheer scale of the bridge is still impressive today. When it was opened in 1851, it was at 78 m the highest railway bridge in the world, and it is still the largest brick bridge today. This building material was unusual, but could be acquired cheaply and quickly in the area due to large loam deposits. The elegance of the Göltzsch Viaduct is best experienced on one of the marked trails along the bridge or from a ride on the nearby tethered balloon that rises 150 m and offers a stunning view of the bridge and its surroundings. Not far from the Göltzsch Viaduct way its “little” sister crosses the valley of the White Elster. For the Elster Viaduct, only 12 million bricks were used. And at paltry 68 m, it is 10 m lower than its famous relative.

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