According to Ad Kil, one of the architects who designed the Moses Bridge, "it had to link the fort with the enemy side. We thought a bridge would be incongruous in this place. That's why we made one that is virtually invisible." Kil is proud of the final result: "The bridge is a very simple design, but it has an inspiring, almost poetic quality".
Fort Roovere is part of the West Brabant Water Line, that was built in 1622 to protect the provinces of Zeeland and South Holland from attacks by French and Spanish troops. Fort de Roovere was surrounded with a shallow moat that was too deep to march across, and too shallow for boats. In the 19th century, the fort fell into decay. It was re-discovered 15 years ago, and the local authorities decided to restore it.
First lying flush with the earth, the bridge then descends deeper into the ground. Lined with wood sheet piling for walls, the deck and stairs sit between. The sides of the bridge are made from Accoya, and a hardwood is used for the bridge decking. Accoya wood undergoes a nontoxic modification process that helps prevent fungal decay and increases its durability, making it an ideal material for a sunken bridge. Like a dam, the walls of the bridge hold the waters of the moat back, and like Moses, the bridge parts the waters so that pedestrians may pass.
The Moses Bridge gives visitors a unique opportunity to pass through parted waters, to eventually meet a historic fortress of defense.
From afar, the Moses Bridge is invisible to the eye. The flow of the moat appears continuous, as the water level remains at the same level, reflecting the surrounding foliage. As visitors approach the fort, the bridge appears as a break in the water with its sloping walls containing it.
One Sunday morning when my son was about 5, we were attending church in our community. It was common for the preacher to invite the children to the front of the church and have a small lesson before beginning the sermon. He would bring in an item they could find around the house and relate it to a teaching from the Bible.
This particular morning, the visual aid for his lesson was a smoke detector. He asked the children if anyone knew what it meant when an alarm sounded from the smoke detector.
My child immediately raised his hand and said, "It means Daddy's cooking dinner."