Bridges and humans have had a long history. Many are designed exclusively for people on foot or on bike; others are for use by cars, boats or trains. Some bridges connect continents; others are known more for their histories and the cultural interest they inspire.
Today’s bridges not solely symbolize our world’s advancement in design however its advancement in technology as well. Consequently, architects and engineers are able to merge style and technology together in order to make bridges that are larger, better, and additional spectacular than ever before.
We’ve compiled a list of 10 most amazing bridges from around the word, both young and old. If we’ve missed and of your favorites, please add them in the comments area below.
- 10. Pont du Gard Aqueduct: Gard, France
- 9. Tower Bridge: London, England
- 8. Nanpu Bridge: Shanghai, China
- 7. Akashi-Kaikyō or Pearl Bridge: Kobe-Naruto, Japan
- 6. Brooklyn Bridge: New York City, United States
- 5. Tsing Ma Bridge: Hong Kong, China
- 4. Gateshead Millennium Bridge: Gateshead, England
- 3. Ponte Vecchio: Florence, Italy
- 2. Sydney Harbour Bridge: Sydney, Australia
- 1. Golden Gate Bridge: San Francisco, United States
10. Pont du Gard Aqueduct: Gard, France
No bridge list is complete without at least one aqueduct constructed by the Roman Empire. Pont du Gard is believed to have been built between 19 BC and 150 AD, crosses the Gardon River in Vers-Pont-du-Gard, southern France. It is the highest of all Roman aqueduct bridges and is the best preserved with the Aqueduct of Segovia. It was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites because of its historical importance. Today it is one of France’s most popular tourist attractions and has attracted the attention of a succession of literary and artistic visitors.
9. Tower Bridge: London, England
A combined bascule and suspension bridge in London which crosses the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, from which it takes its name, and has become an iconic symbol of London. The Bridge was opened on June 30, 1894 by The Prince of Wales. One of the final scenes of the Hollywood blockbuster “Sherlock Holmes” is played out on the bridge in the movie’s climax.
8. Nanpu Bridge: Shanghai, China
Known for its funky and innovative spiral approach, Shanghai’s Nanpu Bridge designers came up with the novel idea to save space. It has a main span of 428 meters, shorter than its sister bridge (Yangpu Bridge). It is the 57th longest cable-stayed bridge in the world, opened to the public in 1991.
7. Akashi-Kaikyō or Pearl Bridge: Kobe-Naruto, Japan
The Pearl Bridge has the longest central span of any suspension bridge in the world, with 1,991m at its completion in 1998. It is one of the key links of the Honshū-Shikoku Bridge Project, which created three routes across the Inland Sea. The Bridge stood a true test of strength even before it opened when it survived the Kobe Earthquake on January 17, 1995.
6. Brooklyn Bridge: New York City, United States
Completed in 1883, Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the U.S.. It was the longest suspension bridge in the world from its opening until 1903, with a main span of 486.3 m, and the first steel-wire suspension bridge. Since its opening, it has become an icon of New York City, and was designated a National Historic Landmark and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
5. Tsing Ma Bridge: Hong Kong, China
The Tsing Ma Bridge is the world’s ninth-longest span suspension bridge, and was the second longest at time of completion. It feature two decks and carry both road and rail traffic, which also makes it the largest suspension bridge of this type. There are no walkways on the bridge. The 41m wide deck carries six lanes of automobile traffic, with three lanes in each direction. The lower level contains two rail tracks and two sheltered carriageways, used for maintenance access and traffic lanes when particularly severe typhoons strike Hong Kong and the bridge deck is closed to traffic.
4. Gateshead Millennium Bridge: Gateshead, England
Referred as the ‘Blinking Eye Bridge’ or the ‘Winking Eye Bridge’ due to its shape and its tilting method. The Gateshead Millennium Bridge is the world’s first and currently only tilting bridge. But the most amazing thing about this pedestrian and biker crossing of the Tyne River is that it appears as if an eye is winking whenever it is raised and lowered. It was opened to the public on September 2001. Its innovative and unique design has won loads of awards since Queen Elizabeth officially opened it in 2002.
3. Ponte Vecchio: Florence, Italy
The Ponte Vecchio is a Medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy. It is mainly known for its shops of jewelers, art dealers and souvenir sellers. Regardless, the Ponte Vecchio Brige is gorgeous and has a rich history dating back to the time of the Romans. During World War II the bridge was not destroyed by the Nazis — unlike many other bridges in Europe — under an express order from Adolf Hitler.
2. Sydney Harbour Bridge: Sydney, Australia
Nicknamed “The Coathanger” by Sydney locals because of its arch-based design. The dramatic view of the bridge, the harbour, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is an iconic image of Sydney, New South Wales, and Australia. The Bridge opened in 1932 and is a focal point of Aussie pride and celebrations. It is the sixth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world. It is the tallest steel arch and widest long-span bridge, at 48.8 meters (160 feet) wide. Every year for New Year’s Eve the bridge itself is used to complement fireworks displays creating various effects like smiley faces and a disco ball.
1. Golden Gate Bridge: San Francisco, United States
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California and U.S.. It is arguably the most recognizable bridge in the world. It has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Frommers travel guide considers the Golden Gate Bridge “possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world”. It opened in 1937 and had until 1964 the longest suspension bridge main span in the world, at 4,200 feet (1,280 m).