11 Must-See Most Beautiful And Photographed Bridges In The World
Surprisingly, everybody has an access to a bridge. But just because bridges are utilitarian in nature, it doesn’t mean to say they come in ordinary designs, nope, the truth is there are most beautiful and photographed bridges in the world. From Renaissance architectural marvels to shutterbug’s choice, said structures don’t just connect us from point A to point B but they are impressive works of art and monumental engineering endeavors.
Well-known flyovers across the globe flex their distinct style and ornamentation. Some have statues of allegorical creatures, others come with complex railings and become the focal point of a city’s horizon. As a result, bridges are also tourist destinations where visitors gather for a photo opportunity or just for the experience to tread over them.
Let’s take a look at some of the amazing bridges in the world that will surely ignite your wanderlust and add them to your must-visit list.
Golden Gate, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
Undoubtedly the most photographed and of course, one of the beautiful bridges in the world, the Golden Gate emerges as an iconic structure that connects the city of San Francisco to Marin County in California, U.S.A. Popular not only for vehicle crossing through the Golden Gate Strait (which this bridge has been named after) but for pedestrians, bikers, tourists and has been featured in many films as well.
When it was opened in 1937, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world until 1964. The Golden Gate is also the 9th most popular destination and Instagrammable attraction in the United States.
Oresund Bridge – border between Malmo, Sweden and Peberholm Island, Denmark
Considered as one of the most impressive bridges in the world that connects two Scandinavian nations in Northern Europe is the Oresund. Both a roadway and a railway bridge, it spans the Oresund Sound (or strait) which is the border of Denmark and Sweden and opened on July 1, 2000.
Oresund Bridge connects Malmo, Sweden to Copenhagen, Denmark and when you’re near in Denmark, part of crossing the bridge is Dorgden Tunnel located at an artificial island called Peberholm, right at the middle of the strait.
Crossing the Oresund is a worthwhile experience because it gives you the chance to appreciate Malmo, Sweden’s famous skycraper, the “Turning Torso”, a twisted-designed building. More of an art than a science, this building is inspired by a twisting human torso.
Ponte di Rialto, Venice, Italy
The oldest bridge along Venice’s Grand Canal and popular for being both an architectural and engineering feat of Renaissance Italy, Ponte di Rialto is a stone arch bridge that spans the narrowest point of the said canal.
Built of marble between 1588-1591, this foot bridge connects the districts of San Polo and San Marco in Rialto. For many centuries, Rialto was the city’s foremost commercial and financial center.
Ponte di Rialto is one of the most visited tourist spots in Venice and at some point it has also inspired many Renaissance artists. It appeared in many paintings, the most famous one is “Miracle of the Relic of the Cross at the Ponte di Rialto” by Vittore Carpaccio.
Atlantic Road, Norway
A highway that twists and turns over the hazardous Norwegian Sea, the Atlantic Road or Atlanterhavsveien is one of the most impressive bridges to cross in the world. Included in the Top 18 Norwegian Scenic Routes, this road connects the island of Averoy with the mainland through a series of 8 bridges that snakes along the Atlantic Ocean.
Opened in 1989, this unique highway will take you to Norway’s farthest point where the land ends and the ocean begins. It is a journey via cultural landscapes, grasslands, attractive bays and dotted islands. It has been designated a Cultural Heritage Site in 2009 and one of the filming locations of the James Bond movie “No Time To Die.”
Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
Meaning “old bridge” in Italian, Ponte Vecchio is one of the most photographed bridges in the world and the oldest in the city of Florence. It is a medieval stone-closed-spandrel segmented arch bridge over the Arno River. Said bridge is most famous for having shops built along with it which was the practice during the Roman period when it was built in 996 A.D.
In the Medieval times, the shops in Ponte Vecchio were first rented by butchers, later during the reign of Duke Ferdinand I in 1593, he decided that only jewelers were allowed to stay because of sanitary reasons. When it was the turn of the Grand Duke of Tuscany (Medici) to rule in Florence, he moved to Palazzo Pitti which is located at the other side of Arno River. He then built a secret connecting route from the Uffizi (government office) to his palace known as the Corrodoio Vasariano (Vasari Corridor) in 1565, and still in use up to the present times.
Ponte Vecchio is featured in Dan Brown’s “Inferno” novel. A visit to Florence will give you the chance to explore the secret passage ways of this ancient arch bridge as mentioned in the said bestseller.
Szechenyi Chain Bridge, Budapest, Hungary
The iconic landmark of Budapest, Szechenyyi Chain ridge is an impressive, historic stone bridge that spans the famous Danube River. It divides the Buda and Pest sides of Hungary’s capital city.
Constructed between 1839-1849, the foremost aim when the Chain Bridge was built was to unite the 2 towns along the Danube. Four iconic stone lions guard both ends of the bridge with long wrought iron chains connecting the 2 towers which symbolize the unification of Buda and Pest. The bridge’s name was derived from the chains.
Located at the heart of the city, a trip to Budapest is not complete without a visit to the Chain Bridge. This is the symbol of great patriotic pride for every Hungarian.
Ponte di Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs), Venice, Italy
Built during the 17th century, Venice’s Ponte di Sospiri or Bridge of Sighs is often recognized as among the most beautiful bridges in the world. Totally walled in white limestone, it was said that the purpose in building the bridge was to have a link of the old prison and interrogation rooms in Palazzo Ducale to the new prison at the other side of the Canal.
The Bridge of Sighs spans a smaller canal named Rio del Palazzo and its name was derived from the sighs of the prisoners that crosses it. It can only be seen when you are on a gondola and a legend goes that if a couple kisses under this bridge while they are on the boat, they will have an everlasting love.
Pont Au Change, Paris, France
One of the most photographed bridges in Paris, Pont au Change is also known as the moneylenders’ bridge. In 1141, Louis VII made an ordinance that moneylenders, jewelers and goldsmiths were only allowed to do their business on this bridge, hence the name.
As was the practice during the Medieval Period (1618), shops were lined on a bridge, however, a royal decree was passed on September 7, 1786 ordering the removal of all stalls on Pont au Change. The shops were gone but the name of the bridge has been retained.
Pont au Change connects Ile de Cite (an island at the River Seine) to the historical Palais de Justice and Concergerie to the right bank of Seine at the Place de la Chatelets (a public square).
Dragon Bridge, Da Nang, Vietnam
A modern bridge designed and built in the shape of a dragon, Dragon Bridge spans the Han River, a shorter route from Da Nang International Airport to the heart of Da Nang City in Vietnam. One of the amazing bridges in the world due to its special feature wherein the dragon spits out fire or water to mark special occasions as well as during Saturday and Sunday nights.
Designed by American architectural firm Louis Beyyer and Amman & Whitney, they based the concept of the Dragon Bridge from the Ly Dynasty’s flying dragon (great ancient rulers of Vietnam). In Vietnamese folklore, this creature is famous for flying into the sea (or water) to usher in good luck. So the dragon on the bridge was designed in a way to make it look like it’s crawling at the middle of the bridge, bringing good fortune to the city of Da Nang.
An iconic image which every visitor should not miss to see when in Da Nang, the best time to explore the Dragon Bridge is in the early evening. The dazzling performance of the “dragon” takes place where you will be amazed by the brilliant lights with either fire or water coming out from its mouth.
Pont Alexandre III, Paris, France
Another beautiful bridge that crosses the Seine River in Paris is Pont Alexandre III which has been named after the Russian Tsar, Alexandre III. It connects the area around Champs Elysees to the district where other famous landmarks of the city are located – the Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides.
Wat makes Pont Alexandrfe III attractive is its lavish decoration of various ornaments such as Art Nouveau lamps, cherubs, mythical horse and nymphs. It was constructed in Beaux-Arts style of the late 19th and early 20th centuries for World Exposition of 1900 held in Paris.
Endless in its grandiosity, Pont Alexandre III has been listed as a Monument Historique and featured in movie scenes: Anastasia, Midnight in Paris, A View To A Kill to name a few.
Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge, Guangxi Province, China
It’s a wooden foot bridge constructed without the use of nails or rivets. Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge is found in Guangxi, China and is a covered corridor flyover with benches and pavilions for people to rest while protected against the natural elements. Lavishly designed with towers that resemble pagodas, its one of the most famous wind and rain bridges in China built in 1912 to serve as a vital link between 2 villages over the Linxi River in Gunagxi.
The credit for the design and construction of this bridge goes to the Dong indigenous people who are famous for their excellent skills in carpentry as well as their production of sweet rice. Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge is mostly made of wood while the roof is covered with tiles and the corridor is decorated with carvings and painting.
A famous tourist attraction and an attractive area in Guangxi, a visit to this idyllic bridge is highly recommended when you are visiting this region in China.
So there, I hope this article will inspire you to go and see any of these most beautiful and photographed bridges in the world. The decision is yours to figure out which one you will going to see first. To visit any of these amazing infrastructures is not a waste of time or money but rather a chance to appreciate the endeavors people have put into to make such engineering feats into aesthetic utilities. Besides, we don’t see impressive bridges often in our everyday lives.
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