Built in 1902, Phat Diem tile bridge is one of the unique architectural bridges in our country today. The bridge has a rainbow shape, with the tile roof. Not only having the function of traffic, but the bridge is also a cultural meeting point of the local people through many generations.
Over the past 100 years, Phat Diem tile bridge has always been the pride of Phat Diem town, Kim Son district (Ninh Binh Vietnam). This bridge is not only a normal bridge to serve traffic but also very meaningful cultural works. Along with the Bridge Pagoda in Hoi An (Quang Nam), Thanh Toan tile bridge in Huong Thuy district (Thua Thien Hue), Phat Diem tile bridge, Kim Son district is one of the most interesting architectural bridges in our country which is still preserved to this day.
Formerly, Kim Son district was only a coastal marsh. Nguyen Cong Tru (1778 – 1858) had great merit in the expansion and registration of this land on the map of Vietnam. During the encroachment of the sea area, along with the reclamation of the coastal alluvial land, he built an irrigation system to bring fresh water to this area. An Giang River flowing through Phat Diem town is an irrigation works he built for many years, to make fresh water from the upstream to facilize the production.
When the river was created, the travel of the people here toward the expanded area to the sea became so difficult. Therefore, Nguyen Cong Tru built a bridge connecting two banks of the river. Initially, the bridge was built with large wooden trunks, large wooden boards, with a large width to allow people to travel freely. Due to the damaged time, in 1902 this bridge was replaced by a tile bridge. The tile bridge has an ancient architecture made entirely of wood, with a tile roof above.
Over the past 100 years, Phat Diem tile bridge today still retains the original architecture with the amazing carvings of the bridge. The bridge is curved as the rainbow, with the roof tile, the two sides are wooden columns and ironwood parapets made very solid with 3 spans. The length of this bridge is 36m, the width is 3m. On the two sides of the bridge, there are sidesteps, so only pedestrians can cross the bridge.
Over time the bridge suffered heavy damage. Since 1984 the bridge was not able to withstand the load, so it was replaced with concrete flooring. The rebuilt bridge has two spans, the two sides are the railing, the two sides of the bridge have steps down the road and steps down the river.
Phat Diem tile bridge has a connection with National Highway 10, and another leading to two crowded markets Nam Dan and Luong Phuong 500m away. The bridge is still rebuilt with steps because it can limit the means of transportation on the bridge in front of increasing traffic demand in the Kim Son.
Phat Diem tile bridge is one of the ancient and high artistic values in Ninh Binh province in particular as well as in Vietnam in general. Once selected as the image to print on Vietnam’s postage stamps, this poetic bridge conquers any lucky travelers on Ninh Binh full day tour who have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of it. Hope along with the longevity of the country, the bridge will remain with time. If you have a chance to travel Ninh Binh, following Ninh Binh amazing tour to visit this beautiful bridge of Phat Diem!