Below are snapshots and summaries of some of the most beautiful bridges in the world, spanning as far as Iran and Italy to London and San Francisco. Take a meander and see if you agree.
1. Khaju Bridge:
Khaju Bridge is the most beautiful bridge in Isfahan Iran, and was built by the Persian Safavid king, Shah Abbas II around 1650 C.E., on the foundations of an older bridge. Serving as both a bridge, and a dam (or a weir), it links the Khaju quarter on the north bank with the Zoroastrian quarter across the Zayandeh River. Although architecturally functioning as a bridge and a weir, it also served as a place for meetings.
2. The Iron Bridge:
The Iron Bridge stretches across the Severn river in Shropshire, England and is unique in that it’s the first bridge made completely out of cast iron. In the 18th century, Shropshire was rich in iron and coal – indeed, there were more iron factories within two-mile radius of the town than any other city in the world. It was also there that iron was first smelt with coke. So, it was only natural that the bridge would be made out of iron, a stronger alternative to wood.
3. Ponte Vecchio in Florence:
Old Bridge” is a Medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, inFlorence, Italy, noted for still having shops built along it, as was once common. Butchers initially occupied the shops; the present tenants are jewellers, art dealers and souvenir sellers. The Ponte Vecchio’s two neighbouring bridges are the Ponte Santa Trinita and the Ponte alle Grazie.
4. Tower Bridge in London:
Tower Bridge started its construction in 1886, led by architect Sir Horace Jones and engineer Sir John Wolfe Barry. The design was a bascule (draw) bridge with two towers built on piers, so the bridge wouldn’t interefere with the port facilities nearby.
A year after construction was started, Jones died and his replacement, George D. Stevenson along with Barry decided to modify the design a little bit. Instead of the original brick facade design, the Tower Bridge had a more ornate Victorian Gothic style meant to harmonize it with the nearby Tower of London.
5. San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge:
The Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic symbol of San Francisco. In 1916, the idea of a bridge to cross the Golden Gate, a narrow strait that separated San Francisco Peninsula and the Marin Headlands, was conceived. Though it was almost immediately dismissed as the cost was estimated to be $100 million (astronomical for the time), a veteran bridge builder named Joseph Strauss lobbied for more than two decades to have it built. Today, it remains a stunning site for anyone visiting the San Francisco Bay Area.
Photo Credits in order of placement: twocentsworth from Flickr, Mark Haythorne from Flickr, Ponte Vecchio. Photo: G|o®g|O. Tower Bridge at night. Photo: Andreas L [Flickr]. Golden Gate: Photo: vgm8383 [Flickr].