Held up by hope

Built of boulders and basalt 150 years ago, romantic Rakotz Bridge gracefully spans Rakotz Lake near Gablenz in Saxony, Germany. But the venerable stone construction is crumbling …

Rakotzbrücke bei Gablenz in Sachsen
© Fotoatelier Berlin/INTERFOTO

Keep off! A sign warns visitors not to cross Rakotz Bridge. Exposed to the elements since around 1870, the old masonry is crumbling, and the popular attraction in the Kromlau Rhododendron Park in eastern Germany could well collapse. For four long years, the municipality of Gablenz, to which park and bridge belong, fought for restoration funding. Its efforts finally paid off this past August, when a combined federal and state preservation fund pledged 2.4 million euros to save the monument and surrounding park.