Tokat’s “Mostar Bridge” Bears The Traces Of History

Leylekli Bridge, known as the "Mostar" of Tokat, attracts attention with its architectural structure. The bridge bears traces of the Roman and Byzantine periods.

The single-arch and semicircular Snake Leylekli Bridge over the Çanakçı Stream in Tokat’s Niksar district bears the traces of history. It is estimated that the bridge, whose exact construction date is unknown, was built during the Roman or Byzantine period. The bridge, which was also used in the Danışmentli, Seljuk and Ottoman periods, is waiting for its visitors. Popularly known by three names, “Arasta”, “Leylekli” and “Serpent”, the bridge is likened by visitors to the Mostar Bridge in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The structure, which has the largest arch span of the 4 arched bridges that have survived over Çanakçı Stream, is among the 100 most important bridges in Turkey. The round single-eyed bridge consisting of cut stone, which has survived to the present day without deteriorating its architectural structure, attracts the attention of local and foreign tourists coming to the district. The bridge takes its name from a cut stone with a snake and stork figure in the middle of the arch.

“Defying history and earthquakes”

Sedat Urkaya, a 60-year-old resident of the district, said, “There is a Mostar Bridge in Europe. This is the Mostar Bridge of Tokat. It defies history and earthquakes. I believe it represents Tokat and Niksar very well. We have a country that will develop with tourism. Those who do not see this bridge will regret it. I would like everyone to come and see it. Niksar has a bridge and a mosque. Niksar Castle is famous for its walls, the second largest in Europe. Diyarbakır is the first, and the second is Niksar Castle. Those who come to see it should consider themselves as not having lived if they have not crossed this bridge and taken a photo. This used to be a plain and a place where agriculture was practiced. It is known that storks used to eat the snakes they collected from Çanakcı Creek. Since there is very good agriculture here, we also have a Mediterranean climate. It is the migration route of storks. It has become a symbol of storks. He drew the figure of the stork with the snake in its mouth and transferred it here and to history, and he is in good hands.”

Kadir Tuğzemin said, “This bridge is famous. They call it Stork Bridge in the mouth of the snake. There are many people who come and watch it here. They always come from outside. Since we are shopkeepers, they ask where the Leylekli Bridge is.”

Mücahid Ahlatçı

Hi, I'm Mucahid. I am a writer for Expat Guide Turkey and I strive to create the best content for you. To contact me, you can send an e-mail to Happy reading!

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