Nature fashioned the first bridges. The fallen log, the natural arch formed by erosion and the plant stem hanging from tree to tree across a stream were the prototypes of the beam, the arch and the suspension bridge. Before the discovery of metals (about 500 B.C.) man had learned, in imitation of nature, to build beam and suspension bridges. And, with the coming of the Bronze Age and the change from nomadic to community life, bridges were built with more thought for permanence and comfort.
Today, people travel from Europe to North America, China, Africa and Australia to visit some of the iconic structures and bridges of the world. If you belong to this category of people, I invite you to take a look below.
Ponte Sublicio – Italy
Located in Rome, the Pons Sublicius, the first Roman Bridge of record was a wooden structure, built around 621 B.C. The chief prists, headed by the Pontifex Maximus, were charged with keeping this bridge in repair and it lasted more than 900 years.
Linking Piazza dell’Emporio to Piazza di Porta Portese, this rustic bridge with a beautiful history deserves at least one visit.
Lake Havasu – England
The reason behind the popularity of this traditional English nursery rhyme can be attributed to this bridge.
London Bridge, which was built in the 1820s over the River Thames, grew too small over hundreds of years to take in the traffic of a metropolitan city. It was previously designed for horseback riding and walking. As a result, in the 1960s, London auctioned off the bridge. Robert McCulloch, the creator of Lake Havasu City, purchased it for $2.5 million in 1968. The bridge took three years to build piece by piece in Arizona, but it is now complete. Every year, over 100,000 tourists visit Lake Havasu via the London Bridge. As a result, a charming village has sprung up near the bridge, providing tourists with a small taste of English life.
Brooklyn Bridge – New York
For more time than we can imagine, the Brooklyn Bridge has linked Manhattan to millions of bustling Brooklynites. When it first opened in 1883, the bridge was considered a marvel of modern engineering — and it still is today. When it was finished, it was the world’s longest suspension bridge. Furthermore, when they were built, the towers were possibly the tallest structures in New York. But don’t let all the engineering jargon cloud your understanding of the bridge’s true purpose. One walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and you’re instantly transported to New York. This architectural marvel exemplifies the city’s beauty like no other.
Sunshine Skyway Bridge – Florida
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which opened in 1987, is 4 miles long and as high as Mount Everest. It is the world’s fifth-largest cable-stayed bridge, with bright yellow steel cables. The structure includes 36 “dolphins,” which were installed to protect the bridge’s support columns from boat impacts. In fact, the bridge can withstand a large impact from an 87,000-ton boat. That’s more than twice the size of the Titanic!
Chapel Bridge – Switzerland
This breathtaking bridge is a 204-meter (670-foot) long bridge that spans the Reuss River in the Swiss city of Lucerne. It is unquestionably the oldest wooden shrouded bridge in Europe and one of the top tourist attractions in Switzerland. The covered bridge was constructed in 1333 to aid in the defense of the city of Lucerne against attacks. A series of 17th-century paintings depicting events from Luzerne’s history can be found inside the bridge. The majority of these paintings were destroyed in a fire that destroyed much of the bridge in 1993, but it was quickly rebuilt.
Seri Wawasan Bridge – Malaysia
This amazing bridge is especially impressive at night, when its futuristic silhouette is illuminated by purple and pink spotlights against a dark sky. But, regardless of the season, the structure’s curved white cables, which resemble the shape and movement of a sail, are worth seeing.