A bridge project once planned out by Leonardo Da Vinci for the Golden Horn will soon become reality, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said today during a ceremony to celebrate the arrival of the first water pumped from the Bosphorus into the Golden Horn, daily Hürriyet has reported.
“Leonardo Da Vinci had a bridge project regarding the Golden Horn,” Erdoğan said. “Once that bridge is built there, we will have the chance to walk from one side of Halic to the other.”
The Leonardo Da Vinci’s Bridge project for Istanbul’s Golden Horn will be constructed by an international volunteer group as a present to Istanbul, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has announced.
According to a written statement from the municipality, the first sketches of the bridge, based on an improved version of Da Vinci’s bridge with respect to the latest technology, have been submitted to the Cultural Wealth Protection Committee.
The statement said the project was the result of collaboration between a group of volunteers from different countries, such as Norwegian sculptor and painter Vebjorn Sand, U.S.-based Turkish physics professor Bülent Ataman, Indian opera writer Daniel Nazareth and international affairs specialist Melinda Iverson. The volunteer group has been working on the project over the last three years.
Funded by local and international sponsors, the bridge will be 220 meters long, 10 meters wide and 25 meters at its highest point above the sea.
In 1502 Leonardo Da Vinci designed a bridge that would span the Golden Horn in Istanbul, upon request from the Ottoman emperor Bayezid II, but the design was never used for an actual project.
The bridge would have a length of 240 meters, a width of 23 meters, and a height (over sea level) of 40 meters according to Leonardo Da Vinci’s design.
If built, it would have become the world’s longest bridge of that time (1502) with its length of 240 meters.
The project was rejected by Sultan Bayezid II who didn’t believe that it could be realized.
The basis of the construction – three arches supporting a walkway – was first accepted as an engineering principle 300 years after Da Vinci made his drawing, confirming his reputation as a man ahead of his time.
Da Vinci was so convinced by his project that he had even offered to build it himself. In a letter he wrote to the Sultan – which was found in 1952 at the Topkapi Palace archives – the great master expressed his wish to come to Istanbul in order to personally realize his project.