Pul-i Qadim (Dizful)
Dizful, Iran
The Pul-i Qadim or Old Bridge of Dizful, also known as Pul-i Andamish, is a bridge crossing the Ab-i Diz in the northern part of Khuzistan Province, Iran. It was initially constructed during the Sasanian period, possibly as early as the reign of Shapur I (r. 242-272 CE), but was repaired numerous times. The bridge as it stands today is the cumulative result of these renovations. The initial construction of the bridge was likely part of a larger campaign that the Sasanian emperors engineered to improve infrastructure in the alluvial plains around Susa through the construction of bridges, canals and weirs.1 

The bridge crosses the Ab-i Diz near the center of Dizful in a nearly straight line from southeast to northwest. As it stands today, the bridge consists of two portions: the northwestern two-thirds is older while the southeastern third is modern. The northwestern, older portion consists of a number of large piers that support broad pointed arches. In between these broad structural arches are smaller, thinner archways that rise from above the piers that served to ease pressure on the bridge during floods. Above this arcade formed by the larger and smaller archways runs the bridge's roadway. Some of the piers in this section date to the Sasanian period, while the superstructure of arches and roadway is nearly all later construction. The southeastern, modern portion of the bridge consists of three arched metal spans.

The bridge in its original state would have resembled the northwestern portion: a number of massive piers would have formed the bases for large structural arches supporting a roadway. In between these large arches, there may have been smaller, decorative archways. According to Hamdallah Mustawfi (fl. 14th/8th century AH), the bridge had 42 arches, and Ali of Yazd reports 28 large arches and 27 small (for a total of 55).2 In his 1909 survey of Khuzistan, Graadt van Roggen recorded 22 arches.3 At that time, he also recorded modern renovations to the bridge's piers, so it is unclear whether or not these 22 arches represented what he thought to be original construction or not.

The bridge functioned as both a roadway and a weir, raising the level of the Ab-i Diz. The weir was mostly gone by 1903 but Graadt van Roggen did record some remnants. Remnants of canals leading off the river above the bridge from both the left and right banks demonstrate that this weir enabled the irrigation of lands around Dizful.

Notes:

  1. Graadt van Roggen, "Travaux hydrauliques," 168.
  2. Le Strange, Lands, 239.
  3. Graadt van Roggen, "Travaux hydrauliques," 187.

Sources

Graadt van Roggen, D. L. “Notice sur les anciens travaux hydrauliques en Susiane.” In Mémoires de la Mission archéologique de Perse. Mémories de la Délégation en Perse, Tome 7: Recherches archéologiques. Duxieme série, 167–207. Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1905.

Le Strange, Guy. Collected Works of Guy Le Strange. Vol. 3: Lands of the Eastern Caliphate, 187-190. London: I. B. Tauris, 2014.

Lockhart, L., "Dizfūl." Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_1885 [Accessed December 5, 2017].

Location
Dizful, Iran
Images & Videos
Associated Names
Part of Site
Events
first constructed late 3rd - early 7th century CE
Style Periods
Variant Names
Pul-i Qadim (Dizful)
پل قدیم دزفول
Original
Pul-i Qadim
Transliterated
Pol-e Qadim
Alternate transliteration
Dizful Old Bridge
Translated
Building Usages
bridge
transportation