Amazing Bridges

Bridges can be made of wood, steel or stone. There are floating bridges; cable-stayed bridges, suspension bridges, drawbridges, pedestrian, road and rail bridges. Here are some of the most remarkable ones.

The oldest

Probably the oldest wooden bridge in the world is the Chapel Bridge across Reuss River in Lucerne, Switzerland. It is 204.7 meters long. The bridge was built in 1365.

The largest number of bridges in one city

Venice has the largest number of bridges of any city: there are over 400 of them. However, if the number of bridges in the suburbs is counted in addition to those in the city, then St. Petersburg in Russia has twice as many, with twenty-one of them being drawbridges. Incidentally, the longest drawbridge in the world is the Erasmusbrug in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. It merges two constructions: a single-deck suspension bridge and a drawbridge 82 meters long.

The strangest

The most unusual drawbridge is the Gateshead Millennium Bridge in the UK. The two semi-circles of the bridge resemble eyelids, so locals call it the “Blinking Eye”.

The Millennium Bridge across the River Tyne is a tilt bridge. It pulls up the “upper lid” when the river is open for navigation.

The most symbolic

Tower Bridge is one of the most familiar landmarks in Great Britain. A hydraulic system was first used to raise and lower the bridge; this was later replaced with an electric system. People could use the bridge even when it was raised: pedestrian galleries were built in the middle part of the bridge, 44 meters above the water.

The Most Tragic

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA (USA) is a suspension bridge. Its main deck is 230 meters high and 1,280 meters long. The length of this steel bridge is almost 2 km in total. It had been the longest in the world for 30 years. However, the bridge is a popular place for suicide attempts. One person jumps off of it every two weeks.

Baroque bridge

Charles Bridge in Prague (Czech Republic) is one of the most famous sights in Europe. It was named after King Charles IV, who laid the foundation stone of the bridge. Construction of the bridge started on July 9, 1357 and lasted for half a century. The result was a sandstone masterpiece. Several centuries later it was adorned with thirty baroque sculptures.

Miracle of the Orient

Chengyang Wind-Rain Bridge is a famous bridge in the Guangxi province to the north of the city of Guangxi in China. It incorporates gazebos and corridors to protect people from the wind and rain. It was built in the early twentieth century and there is still a lot of traffic on the bridge, which connects two villages. This type of traditional covered Chinese bridge is known as Fengyu or Yongji, which means “wind and rain” bridge.

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