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Culture Architecture Traditional architecture East Macedonia and Thrace Prefecture of Xanthi

The Papa bridge at the Oreo area of Xanthi?s prefecture (southern part)
(Photo: Nikolaos Th. Kokkas)
The Papa bridge at the Oreo area of Xanthi?s prefecture (northern part)
(Photo: Nikolaos Th. Kokkas)

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20/11/2006
Papa bridge

Nikolaos Th. Kokkas

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The Papa bridge (Papas Kioprousou) is situated in the Pomak villages of Xanthi?s prefecture, at Kosinthos river, between the Oreo and Revma settlements and 415 m in altitude (geographical latitude Ν 41.15.478 Ε 024.48.907). At the northwestern part of the bridge we meet the Theotokos village (?Teotoou? in Pomak language) and at the southwestern part we find the Stamatio village (?Stamatatsko? in Pomak language).
The Papa bridge is a two bowed one with a decking 26 m in length and 2.20 m in width with NE-SW orientation (northeastern exit to Oreo). The big bow is 1in 1.70 m length and 6.70 m in height. The top of the bow is in 1.50 m distance from the upper part of the parapet. The decking parapet is 30 cm in height. The stones used for the arch are in 51 cm length. The smaller bow is 2.50 m in height and 2.30 m in length. The corner where the wall goes on SE is shaped through a close simple closed curve. The slip road made of stones from the mountains around which have being put irregularly, also has narrow stone lanes and it is covered with soil for easy walking.
The NE abutment is at the rocky side of the current, while the SW part of the big arch is built on a steady ground and shaped with big sculptured stones. Lime mortar has been used everywhere, especially for the bow?s stones. Lesser was used in the feelings, where the bridge is adjacent to the Northeastern declivitous. This construction is mostly of dry wall and stones? placement does not have a special pattern. Maybe this part was reconstructed after a flood.
The carved cross that we see at the key of the arch of the big bow (Northwestern side) is very important. The cross?s endings are broadened, while at the upper part of the cross we find a small horizontal line. Besides the cross, we have another curving at the Southeastern side of the bow, not at the center of the arch, but seven stones left form the key. A female figure was curved in this stone. Hasan Houseinko, a miller (born in 1937), told that you could see clearly this figure in the past but it is almost destroyed now. He also said that the female figure was a Karakatsanea holding a knife. Others said that the female figure was a Madonna holding an incensory. Today you can only see the head of the female figure.
The name of the bridge is connected to a priest that probably granted the bridge?s construction. The bridge?s neighboring to the priest?s mill (papa dermen) was of great importance and it assisted corn carriage. This mill is one of the few that function in the contemporary mountainous Xanthi compared to the fact that 62 mills existed in the past.