Events & Festivals
8 Amazing Bridges in Europe
Believe it or not, bridges are more than a way from point A to point B. They can, from time to time, represent stunning architectural achievement and take your breath away.
With that in mind, here are 10 of the most beautiful bridges from the around the world.
Pont du Gard, France
Built in the middle of the first century by the Roman Empire in the South of France, Pont du Gard is an aqueduct designed to carry the water across the small Gardon river valley from the Fontaines d’Eure springs near UzÃ¨s, to the Castellum in Nemausus. What’s interesting is the outstanding quality of the bridge’s masonry, achieved entirely without the use of mortar.
Pont du Gard is a must see if you’re visiting France. It’s said to be one of the country’s top five tourist attractions, with 1.4 million visitors in 2001. Since 1985 it’s been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Bridge of Sighs, Venice
Venice is a unique, romantic place, combining breathtaking architecture with a relaxed and vita bella Italian vibe. There are many bridges in the canal city but the Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri) is a bit different.
Built out of white limestone between 1600 and 1603 by Antoni Contino, the enclosed bridge passes over the Rio di Palazzo and connects the old prisons to the interrogation rooms in the Doge’s Palace. As such, the view from the Bridge of Sighs was the last that countless convicts saw before their imprisonment.
There’s also a legend for lovers. Kiss your sweetheart on a gondola at sunset under the bridge and you’ll be assured eternal love. Regardless of whether it’s true, the bridge is still a beautiful place to be near.
Ponte Vecchio, Florence
The oldest of Florence’s six bridges, Ponte Vecchio was built in 1345 from a unique design that had merchants rent out space along the quasi-street span to help finance the project.
The medieval bridge over the Arno River is a symbol of the city thanks to its roofed passageway which is flanked by two rows of shops, under ancient arcades. It looks gorgeous at night.
Tower Bridge, London
Designed by Horace Jones and Wolfe Barry, the Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge that was completed in 1894. It soon became a famous tourist attraction and an iconic symbol of London, because of unique architecture that includes two striking 141 foot high towers, 70,000 tonnes of concrete sinked into 2 huge piers, two counterbalanced bascules (1,000 tonnes each) and 11,000 tonnes of steel.
Tower Bridge was completed in 8 years and 432 workers contributed to the construction.
Charles Bridge, Prague
The most famous bridge in the Czech Republic is the Charles in Prague, which crosses the Vltava River and connects the Old Town and the Prague Castle. When built in 1357, the bridge was the main trade route between eastern and western Europe, which made Prague a vital city in the continental economy.
With 30 statues, most of them Baroque, and an astonishing Gothic tower, the bridge represents a must-visit while in Prague. During the day the bridge comes alive with painters, kiosk merchants and other traders who cater to the tourist hordes.
Oresund Bridge (Ã–resundsbron)
Image by Wikimedia
The longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe is the Oresund, connecting Sweden with Denmark. The combined two-track rail and four-lane road bridge is just shy of 8 km. Between Copenhagen and MalmÃ¶ over the Oresund Strait, it supports the Oresund Railway Line and Route E20. Construction was deemed complete on July 2, 2000 when Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden met at the midway point of the bridge.
The Old Bridge, Mostar
Built in the 16th century by an Ottoman architect, Stari Most (The Old Bridge) or the Mostar Bridge crosses the River Neretva and connects two parts of the old town of Mostar, fourth largest in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The shape of the arch is the result of numerous irregularities produced by a deformity of the inner line of the arch, made from a local stone known as tenelija.
On November 9, 1993, it was destroyed by Croatian forces in a Bosnian War skirmish. It was later rebuilt between 1999 and 2003 with financial help from among others, Croatia, and soon thereafter became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
SzÃ©chenyi Chain Bridge, Budapest
The most beautiful bridge in Budapest, the SzÃ©chenyi Chain Bridge was as of 1849, the first permanent bridge over the River Danube. The structure remains a powerful national symbol in Hungary. There’s a funny story behind the construction of the bridge. Rumor has it that the stone lions on the bridge were built without tongues and that as a result of the subsequent shame and mockery, the sculptor threw himself into the Danube.