A bridge is perhaps the most apt representation of man’s perseverance to overcome obstacles that lie in his path. Here are 10 world famous bridges, some included in the list due to their rich history while others for their marvelous and bold design.
#10 Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge
Location: Chengyang, China
Construction End: 1912
Wind and Rain bridges are covered bridges which were built by the Dong people in China to protect people from the elements while they crossed the bridge. Chengyang Bridge is the biggest and the most known bridge of this type. It has been built without a single nail as the Dong people used to dovetail all of the wood.
#9 Gateshead Millennium Bridge
Location: Gateshead, England
Construction End: 2001
Built across the River Tyne, Gateshead Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian and cyclist bridge. It is the world’s first and only bridge to use a tilting mechanism to allow ships to pass below. Due to its unique feature it is often referred to as the ‘Winking Eye Bridge’.
#8 Chapel Bridge
Location: Lucerne, Switzerland
Kapellbrucke or the Chapel Bridge is oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe. Built across the Reuss River it is named after the nearby St. Peter’s Chapel. Constructed in 1333, the bridge is unique because inside it is a series of paintings from the 17th century, depicting events from Lucerne’s history. Much of the bridge, and the majority of these paintings, were destroyed in a 1993 fire, though it was quickly rebuilt.
#7 Pont du Gard
Location: Gard, France
Construction End: c. 40 – 60 AD
A masterpiece of Roman engineering, Pont du Gard was part of a complex aqueduct system that carried water over 50 km to the ancient Roman city of Nemausus. Built in first century AD, it is the highest of all Roman aqueduct bridges. In 1985, due to its historical relevance, Pont du Gard was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
#6 Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge
Location: Beijing-Shanghai, China
Construction End: 2010
Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge is by far the longest bridge in the world with a whooping length of 164.8 kilometres (102.4 mi). The construction of the bridge took 4 years, cost $8.5 billion and required 10,000 workers on site. This sturdy structure can withstand strong typhoons, magnitude 8 earthquakes and an impact that is equal to a 300,000 ton vessel.
#5 Millau Viaduct
Location: Tarn Valley, France
Construction End: 2004
Millau Viaduct is a cable-stayed bridge. With one mast’s summit 343 metres above the base of the structure; it is the tallest bridge in the world. Its highest point is 19 meters (62 ft) taller than the Eiffel Tower. Designed by the French structural engineer Michel Virlogeux and British architect Norman Foster, Millau Viaduct is considered one of the great engineering achievements of all time.
#4 Ponte Vecchio
Location: Florence, Italy
Built over the Arno River, Ponte Vecchio is a medieval stone bridge and the oldest of its kind in Europe. Originally built in the twentieth century, it was destroyed by floods and rebuild twice. The Ponte Vecchio that we know today was built in 1345 by Taddeo Gaddi. It is known for still having shops built along it, as was common in the days of the Medici. Ponte Vecchio was the only bridge in Florence to not be destroyed by Germans during World War II. It is said that an express order by Hitler spared this beautiful bridge.
#3 Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge was the world’s widest long-span bridge at 48.8 metres until the opening of Port Mann Bridge in 2012. It is still the tallest steel arch bridge, measuring 134 metres (440 ft.) from top to water level. Because of its arch shape design the bridge has become known as ‘The Coathanger’. The view of this bridge, the harbour and the nearby Sydney Opera House is an iconic image of Australia.
#2 Tower Bridge
Location: London, England
Construction End: 1894
Tower Bridge, built over River Thames, is an iconic symbol of London. It is a combined bascule and suspension bridge near the Tower of London from where it gets its name. Construction of this 800 feet long bridge started in 1886 and took 8 years. The two towers are each 213 feet high. The 200 feet central span, which is between the towers, is split into two bascules or leaves, which can be raised to allow river traffic to pass. In 1977 the bridge was painted red, white and blue for Queen Elizabeth II’s silver jubilee and this is still its colour scheme
#1 Golden Gate Bridge
Location: San Francisco, U.S.
Construction End: 1937
This is a suspension bridge that spans the Golden Gate, the strait that separates San Francisco Peninsula and the Marin Headlands. In 1916 the cost for building this bridge was estimated at $100 million and the idea was dismissed. A bridge builder named Joseph Strauss lobbied for many years before construction began in 1933. The project was finished in 1937, $1.3 million under the budget of $37 million. The Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed. It appears numerous times in a variety of media, is a prominent American landmark and has been declared one of the Wonders of the modern world.