For centuries, the Great Bridge was an important part of the city's dynamic economic development. One of the international trade routes had passed here since the Middle Ages. Due to its wooden construction and the unpredictable river in this area, the bridge was often damaged. In particular, a flood in 1897 led to its almost complete destruction and forced the town authorities to rebuild it in a more durable form. Although plans were made as early as 1901, the construction of the massive steel and concrete structure, which was extremely modern for that time, did not begin until 1922 after many years of technical and construction work. Commissioned a year later, the bridge only survived in its new form until 20 April 1945, when German troops retreating from the devastated eastern part of the city blew it up. The bridge was rebuilt shortly after the Second World War and transformed into a border crossing, which was closed down after 60 years on 2 December 2007 as a result of the Schengen Agreement.
For centuries, in Guben, as in other European cities, the bridges were made primarily of wood. Wooden bridge structures were popular mainly due to their low construction cost, high availability of material, speed, and ease of construction as well as low weight. Unfortunately, they also had their disadvantages, which were particularly noticeable in the urbanized area - wooden bridges were very susceptible to the effects of weather conditions, they were significantly and often completely damaged during floods and fires, thus leading to high maintenance costs. In addition, due to the low strength of the material, and thus a small span and load-bearing capacity (several meters for beam structures, about 40 meters for lattice structures), along with the increasing traffic intensity, they could not gradually fulfill their communication function.
Along with the popularization of the construction of massive structures made of reinforced concrete, city authorities began to gradually rebuild bridge structures. In Guben, almost all bridges on the Nysa, Lubsza, Egelneiße and Schwarzes Fließ were built and modernized in this way. A significant part of the existing bridges was destroyed at the very end of World War II by the retreating German troops. Many were not rebuilt - this group includes the Northern Bridge from 1925, which is the largest structure of this type in pre-war Guben.
The Great Bridge: Ul. Chopina 1a, 66-620 Gubin, Poland
The Great Bridge: 1922-1923, destroyed in 1945, rebuilt shortly after World War II, completely renovated in 2005
The Great Bridge (without hydrotechnical elements): 68 m long, 13 m wide
The bridges are available for use and can be visited 24 hours a day