the only remaining incan rope bridge
the Q’eswachaka rope bridge, suspended over the apurímac river in peru, is a piece of living history. it is the last of the rope bridges that once connected the incan road system, and dates back about five centuries. rebuilt from twisted cords of grass by residents each year, it is a piece of history that is not only still in use, but regularly renewed.
the bridge—spanning 118 feet and composed of local grasses—is remarkably sturdy: it can hold thousands of pounds of tension. but perhaps the most remarkable thing about the Q’eswachaka is the local community’s ongoing dedication to keeping it in working order.
the bridge, though strong, only has a lifespan of one to two years before it begins to weaken. since the structure was first built nearly half a millennium ago, residents of nearby towns have fastidiously rebuilt it hundreds of times. they continue to rebuild it to this day, with each family contributing some 90 feet of rope.
“true belonging is born of relationships not only to one another
but to a place of shared responsibilities and benefits.
we love not so much what we have acquired
as what we have made and whom we have made it with.”
credits: atlas obscura, anna green, mental floss