Many historic landmark bridges dot the world, but this bridge in Peru has a twist to it. The Q’eswachaka Bridge is unique as it is the last remaining handwoven Inca suspension bridge, which is erected in the Apurimac canyon.
The handwoven bridges were quite common in the Inca culture and the Q’eswachka Bridge is the only remaining example that reflects Inca’s construction techniques. The 118-foot-long bridge is made of woven grass and hangs 60 feet above the river in the Cusco region of Peru.
The Q’eswachka Bridge has been completely woven by hand and is being used by the people of the region for the past 600 years. The bridge has a glorious past as it was part of the network that connected the prominent cities and towns of the Inca Empire. This exquisite bridge was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2013.
The communities living on the two sides of the canyon will join hands on a special day every year to rebuild the hanging bridge. As per the traditional practices, only men can be part of the actual making of the bridge and the weaving work is done by the womenfolk.
The bridge hangs purely on grass and human vigour as modern materials, tools or machines are not used for the construction of the handwoven structure. The reconstruction of the bridge begins by cutting away the old bridge and putting it into the gushing river waters. The old bridge will eventually rot away in the waters as it is made of grass ropes.
The people concerned will make sure that the procedures and methods followed by the Inca engineers 500 year ago are put into practice while refurbishing the bridge every year.