The bridges of the world are not only engineering masterpieces, they also have a majestic beauty to them. These structures large and small alike, are sights to marvel at and appreciate. Many of the historic bridges have such character and worldly charm to them that can never be duplicated, while the modern bridges are able to take on structural designs that form some of the most stunning visual works of art. There are a few in the world that have also captured the essence of both of these things. Bridges have historically gone from being something built for functionality & practical use, to modern day times where architects are battling to be able to design the next modern marvel. No matter if you appreciate history, present day accomplishments, or a little of both, these structural wonders that connect our lands will always be something to cherish & appreciate. Here are ten of the most beautiful examples.
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge located in San Francisco, CA is arguably the most recognized bridge of the world. Not only is this bridge in a stunning city, it’s the surrounding landscape that compliments this bridge. Opening in 1937, this bridge has been declared as one of the wonders of the modern world. Nestled between the mountains, San Francisco Bay, & the Pacific Ocean, it’s no wonder this is the most photographed bridge in the world. Every angle captures a new ever changing sight of beauty.
The Ponte Vecchio Bridge located in Florence, Italy is one of the oldest recorded built bridges dating back to the Roman Empire. Even though indicators point at earlier construction, the first recorded documents put the construction date around 966. After being swept away by floods, the bridge was rebuilt in 1333 and again in 1345. The history of the bridge alone is unprecedented and the art dealers, jewelry merchants & souvenir shops that line the bridge maintain the worldly charm.
The Chengyang located in Sanjiang County, Liuzhou, Guangxi, China was completed in 1912 and was built for the link between two villages. The bridge not only serves its purpose for accessibility across the river, but it also serves as a corridor and a Chinese Pavilion. The piers of this bridge are constructed with stone and the upper portions of the bridge are mostly made of wood. The intricate detailing of this bridge is something that is not only appreciated by the locals but from those around the world.
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge is located in Budapest Hungary and was completed in 1849. Most often referred to as the chain bridge, when completed at the time, this bridge was one of the largest in the world. This bridge also represented a symbol of advancement and had a major impact on the economic social and cultural aspects of the area. The bridge while simply beautiful during the day, during the evening hours this work of art takes on a completely different look and feel.
Forth Railway Bridge
Still to this day, the Forth Railway Bridge is considered an engineering marvel and masterpiece. Located in and connecting Endinburgh and Fife, Scotland, the bridge opened in 1890. This masterpiece held the title of having the longest single cantilever bridge span in the world, and to date still claims the #2 spot only beaten by the completed Quebec Bridge in 1917. This is one of the most massive undertakings in construction history and remains an iconic structure and symbol of Scotland.
The Helix Bridge
This bridge located in Marina Bay, Singapore is a pedestrian bridge that opened in 2010. The design of this bridge features 4 viewing platforms as well as canopies that are incorporated into the design to provide shaded areas. When on the bridge the views to take in of the Singapore skyline are beautiful. At night, the bridge takes on another dimension as the illuminated lights showcase the design and the construction accomplishments of the helix design.
Octavio Frias De Oliveira Bridge
Located in São Paulo, Brazil this bridge opened in 2008. This modern design was a architects dream. The most distinctive feature of the bridge is it’s the only bridge in the world that has two curved tracks supported by a single concrete mast. This intricate crossing of the cables creates a web like effect that makes the visual appearance quite striking. The cables are lite up during special occasions throughout the year and are green in December to resemble a Christmas tree.
Tower Bridge London
The Tower Bridge is one of the most iconic bridges in Europe. Opening in 1894, this bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge. The two intricate towers are also connected with walkways on the upper levels to support the horizontal forces of the suspended areas of the bridge. There were over 50 designs of the bridge that were submitted and took years before this final design was approved and construction began.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge
The massive beauty is located in Sydney, Australia and is one of the most celebrated structures not only in Sydney but in all of Australia. Completed in 1932, the Harbour Bridge held many world records when completed and still to date holds the title of the tallest steel arch bridge. The iconic size of this bridge and the Sydney Opera house in the background, gives this bridge one of the most beautiful settings. There is also a bridge climb that travelers can take part in that takes you to the top of this structure.
Pont du Gard Aqueduct
This ancient Roman aqueduct bridge located in Vers-Pont-du-Gard of France is one of the most historic bridges in existence. Built in the 1st Century AD, between 40 and 60 AD, this aqueduct at the time of use provided up to (44,000,000 imp gal) of water a day to baths, homes, and fountains to the people of Nimes. Today, after undergoing a series of major renovations in the 18th and 21st centuries, this is one of the most visited tourist destinations in all of France.
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