Introduction to Valeria Bridge
One of the most famous bridges in Persia in the past and one of the oldest brick bridges in the world, known as Caesar Dam or Valeria Bridge, which was captured by Roman soldiers and engineers in 260 AD with the Roman emperor Valerianus, in Shushtar. It was built on the Karun River. The world’s oldest bridge with 44 spans, adjacent to the new Shushtar-Dezful Bridge, is built in a semicircle and divides the water of the Karun River into two parts. It causes the release of water in the two eastern and western parts of the city. In the past, the eastern branch was also known as “Dodangeh”. These two waterways rejoin each other in the south of Shushtar and in the area of Qir dam and form the great Karun. In the past, this dam was used to raise the water level and bring it to agricultural lands. According to legend, the Romans cut these stones and poured molten iron between them.
In his Shahnameh, Ferdowsi quotes verses describing the construction of the Shadorvan Bridge and states:
It is a dam that was built by the Roman engineer Branosh near Shushtar during the reign of the first Roman Sassanid after his captivity. The dam was 1,500 feet long and is still used to return Karun water to farms.
Naming of Valeria Bridge
This place has several names, each with different reasons. This bridge is known as Qeysar Dam because the Romans were taken captive and forced to build this bridge in exchange for freedom. This bridge is also known as the Valeria Bridge, because the name of the captive king of Rome was Valerianus, and eventually it became known as Shadorvan due to the neat and regular stones in its design, which means patterned carpet.
Architecture of Valeria Bridge
Due to the special type of materials used in its construction and the different styles of the bridge it is clear that it has a long history. Its total length is about 521 meters, which is amazingly and magnificently built with a maze.
The ancient bridge of Shadorvan was rebuilt during the reign of Azd al-Dawla Dailami, Safavid and Pahlavi dynasties. Currently, it is one of the important sights and attractions of Dezful city and Khuzestan province. This bridge has suffered many natural disasters throughout its life and has been restored every time; many years have passed since the last fracture in 1303 AH by flood. Not only has the bridge not been repaired since then, but Heidegger has also suffered damage.