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From the intention an easy passage, human being has been using architecture to bridge the gaps between physical obstacles throughout the ages. Being a vital part of the infrastructures of regions around the world, almost all of these bridges are also regarded as landmarks. Due to their influence and engineering wonder, some have even became the city icon. A list of the most famous bridges in the world is provided here.
10 Most Famous Bridges:
10. Sydney Harbor Bridge
One of the most well known and photographed landmarks in Australia is the Sydney Harbor Bridge. With the crest of the bridge standing 134 meters (440 feet) above Sydney Harbor, it is the largest (but not the longest) steel arch bridge in the world. It has taken eight years to build the bridge and opened in March 1932. The bridge is not completely stationary. Depending on the temperature the bridge can rise or fall up to 18 cm (7.1 inch).
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9. Stari Most
Stari Most meaning “The Old Bridge” is one of the most famous bridges standing over the river Neretva in the city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1566, the bridge was built by the Ottaman Turks and stood for 427 years. It was destroyed in 1993 during the Bosnian War. It was rebuilt and the new bridge opened in 2004. Traditionally the young men of the town dive from the bridge into the Neretva. Because the river is very cold, only the most skilled and best trained divers will attempt it due to the risk.
8. Si-o-se Pol
Si-o-se Pol is also known as The Bridge of 33 Arches. It is a famous bridge in the Iranian city of Isfahan. Among the Safavid bridge design, it is the most famous and highly ranked. 295 meters long and 13.75 meters wide, the bridge is commissioned by Shah Abbas I, and is build of bricks and stones in 1602. The bridge was originally planned to comprise 40 arches, however, this number gradually reduced to 33.
7. Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge
The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge is the longest suspension bridge as well as the seventh of the most famous bridges in the world. It is 1,991 meters (6,532 feet) long. Also known as the Pearl Bridge, it spans the Akashi Strait in Japan connecting Kobe on the mainland and Iwaya on Awayi Island. It took almost 12 years to build the bridge and was opened for traffic in 1998. Originally, the central span was only 1,990 meter; however it had to be increased by 1 meter due to the Kobe earthquake on January 17, 1995, which moved the two towers.
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6. Rialto Bridge
As one of the four most famous bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice in Italy, The Rialto Bridge is the oldest bridge across the canal. Designed by Antonio da Ponte, the present stone bridge was completed in 1591 and was used to replace a wooden bridge that collapsed in 1524. Some architects predicted a future collapse of the bridge because of the daring engineering of the bridge. The Rialto Bridge has defied its critics and became one of the architectural icons of Venice.
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5. Charles Bridge
Located in Czech Republic, the Charles Bridge is a famous stone Gothic bridge that crosses the Vltava River in Prague. Under the patronage of King Charles IV, the construction of the bridge started in 1357 and finished in the beginning of the 15th century. The Charles Bridge was considered as the most important link between the Old Town and the area around Prague Castle as it was the only means of crossing the river Vltava.
This connection made Prague important as a trade route between Eastern and Western Europe. With painters, owners of kiosks and other traders alongside numerous tourists crossing the bridge, it has become one of the most visited sites in Prague.
4. Tower Bridge
Crossing the River Thames, the Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London. Being an iconic symbol of London, the bridge is close to the Tower of London which gives it its name. Started in 1886, it took eight years to build. There are two towers in the bridge, which are linked together at the upper level by means of two horizontal walkways that are designed to endure the forces of the suspended sections of the bridge.
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3. Millau Bridge
Located in southern France, The Millau Viaduct is a massive cable-stayed road-bridge that spans the valley of the river Tarn near Millau. With the highest pylon’s apex at 343 meters (1,125 ft), it is the tallest vehicular bridge in the world. The bridge is slightly taller than the Eiffel Tower. Due to tourists taking pictures of the bridge from the vehicles, the speed limit on the bridge was reduced from 130 km/h (81 mph) to 110 km/h (68 mph). Passengers are stopping to admire the landscape and the bridge itself since the bridge was opened to traffic.
2. Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge that spans the Golden Gate, the channel between San Francisco and Marin County to the north. This bridge is the masterpiece of architect Joseph B. Strauss, whose statue graces the southern observation deck. It took seven years to build the bridge, and was completed in 1937. Being one of the most popular tourist attractions in San Francisco and California, the Golden Gate Bridge was the world’s longest suspension bridge span when it was completed.
Eight other bridges have surpassed its suspension length since its completion. A thick fog frequently shrouds the bridge. So to make the bridge easily visible even through the thick fog, the famous red-orange color of the bridge was chosen.
1. Ponte Vecchio
The Ponte Vecchio literally means “old bridge”. It is a medieval bridge over the Arno River in Florence. In our consideration, this is the most famous bridge in the world. As the only Florentine bridge to survive WW2, it is famous for still having shops built along it just like in the days of the Medici. At first the shops were occupied by butchers. But now jewelers, art dealers and souvenir sellers are in possession of the shops.
The economic concept of bankruptcy is considered to be originated here. When a merchant could not pay his debts, the table on which he sold his wares (the “banco”) was physically broken (“rotto”) by soldiers. This practice was called “bancorotto” (broken table).