With ‘Building Bridges’ being a common theme in 2015 (think Eurovision and Adelaide’s Come Out Children’s Festival), I thought I would take this idea literally and bring you a list of bridges you simply must visit someday soon!
1. Sydney Harbour Bridge (Sydney, Australia)
Affectionately called the ‘Coathanger’ by many locals, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the most photographed landmarks in the world. Located right next to the Sydney Opera House, it carries rail, bus, automobile and pedestrian traffic between the CBD and North Shore. The steel arch bridge was built by 1400 men over eight years, and was officially opened on 19 March 1932. Today, there are many ways to access it – walk across it for free, take the train, or even climb it!
2. Brookyln Bridge (New York, USA)
Completed in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge connects Manhattan with Brooklyn over New York’s East River. Its granite towers and steel cables took 600 workers a total of 14 years to construct. It still carries approximately 150 000 people to and from Manhattan each day. Why not be one of these individuals when you visit New York City?
3. Tower Bridge (London, United Kingdom)
A combined suspension and drawbridge, the Tower Bridge stands majestically over London’s River Thames. After eight years of construction, it was officially opened by the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII) on 30 June 1894. Today, you can visit the Tower Bridge Exhibition, which begins in the North West Tower. Admission is £9.
4. Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco, USA)
An elegant bridge that demands your attention, the Golden Gate Bridge is approximately 2.7 kilometres long and links San Francisco to Marin County. Its art deco features and recognisable International Orange colour make it arguably the most photographed bridge in the world. Pedestrians are able to walk across the bridge, but the best photos will be taken on land, with it as the perfect backdrop.
5. Charles Bridge (Prague, Czech Republic)
Crossing the Vltava River, the Charles Bridge is a medieval stone bridge that was finished in the 15th Century. Today, the footbridge is taken up by various painters and vendors wanting to sell you their goods. It is also lined with 30 mostly baroque statues depicting various religious figures. Touching St John of Nepomuk’s statue is said to bring good luck and ensure you return to Prague someday.
6. Rialto Bridge (Venice, Italy)
The oldest and most famous bridge to cross the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge was constructed between 1588 and 1591. The stone bridge is 7.32 metres high, making it the perfect size to inspect from a gondola!
7. Ponte Vecchio (Florence, Italy)
This medieval stone arch bridge was the only bridge not destroyed in Florence during World War II, with many believing it was an order by Hitler. It is believed to have been first built in Roman times, with butchers initially occupying its shop fronts. Present tenants include jewellers, art dealers and souvenir sellers, making the Ponte Vecchio the perfect spot for an afternoon wander.
8. Millau Viaduct (Millau, France)
Source: Wiki Commons
The work of French structural engineer Michel Virlogeux and British architect Norman Foster, the Millau Viaduct is the tallest bridge on Earth. It cost €400 million to build and was opened to the public on 16 December 2004.
9. Akashi Kaikyo Bridge (Kobe, Japan)
Source: Wiki Commons
Currently the longest suspension bridge in the world, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge links the city of Kobe and the island of Awaji. The bridge was opened for traffic on 5 April 1998 and cost Japan a total of 5 billion Yen.
10. Pont du Gard (Vers-Pont-du-Gard, France)
The Pont du Gard is an ancient Roman aqueduct that crosses over the River Gardon in southern France. Built halfway through the 1st Century, it has three tiers of arches and stands at 48.8 metres high. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985 and visitors today can combine their trip with a visit to the museum built in its honour. Entry is €7 per person.
Now over to you, dear readers. Which bridges have you visited and should be added to my list?