In Argostoli you can see one of the most important and historical monuments of Kefalonia, the stone bridge of Drapanos (or De Bosset bridge) with its characteristic arches. With a length of 690 meters it is the longest stone bridge over the sea in Europe. It connects the town of Argostoli with the opposite shore, thereby separating the port area from the Koutavos lagoon.
Currently the bridge is a pedestrian area. Until fifteen years ago, it was used by cars and even trucks, with the result that cars regularly fell into the sea, due to the narrowness of the bridge!
Charles Philippe De Bosset, the Resident of Kefalonia, who realized its necessity since Argostoli was virtually cut of from most of the island, built the original wooden bridge in 1813 during the British occupation. People from many parts of the island could only reach the town by small boats or by travelling right around the Koutavos lagoon, which was then a dangerous swamp and source of malaria.
The town council objected to the ambitious plan of building the bridge, partly because of the cost but also because it would expose the inhabitants to the risk of raids by bandits from the villages across the bay. However, De Bosset was not a man to be trifled with and the bridge was built in two weeks! The townspeople were delighted and the opposition abated. Thereupon De Bosset immediately laid the foundations of the stone bridge, which was completed by Charles Napier, De Bosset’s successor.
The obelisk in the sea about halfway along has an inscription commemorating De Bosset as the initiator of the project and giving the date of construction (1813).
With a little bit of luck you may be able to see loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) swimming near the bridge. These big sea creatures mate in early summer in the shallows of the bay, and the females then swim to the sandy beaches of south Kefalonia to lay their eggs in the sand.