Top 10 Most Beautiful Bridges in the World

| February 1, 2009

Looking at the past, the first bridges were most likely made by nature as simple as a log fallen across a stream. Periodically humans build the bridges from spans of wooden logs or planks and eventually stones, using a simple support and crossbeam arrangement. However, most of these early bridges are not quite safety as they could not support heavy weights or withstand strong currents. It was these inadequacies which led to the development of better bridges with style. They are as much a work of art as they are marvels of engineering. To appreciate the wonders of classic bridges, here are some picks for the Top 10 Most Beautiful Bridges in the World:

10. Khaju Brigde of Isfahan Irankhaju-bridge-reflections

The Khaju Bridge or Pol-e-Khajoo in Isfahan, Iran, was built in the 17th century by Shah Abbas II in the great Islam era destiny. Besides having beautiful golden look during the night, the bridge also serves as a dam, with sluice gates under the archways. At the center of the bridge, there are two large pavilions, called the Prince Parlors, that were originally reserved for the Shah.

khaju-bridge-night

9. Pont Du Gard of Francepont-du-gard

Pont du Gard, an aqueduct spanning the Gard River in southern France, is a masterpiece of Roman engineering. It wasn’t built initially to transport people, instead it was part of a complex aqueduct system that carried water over 30 miles (about 50 km) to the ancient Roman city of Nemausus (now Nimes). The Pont du Gard was built by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa (63 – 12 BC), the son-in-law of Caesar Augustus. The bridge’s stones, some of which weight up to 6 tons, were cut perfectly to fit together without any mortar. The wedge-shaped stones, known as voussoirs, were arranged in three levels, the top-most being the water conduit.

8. Sighs Bridge of Venice Italybridge-of-sighs

In the 19th century, Lord Byron named a Venetian limestone bridge across the Rio di Palazzo connecting the Doge’s prison to the interrogation room in the main palace, the Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri). Initially, the bridge was built in 1600 by Antonio Contino, after the days of the inquisitions and summary executions. Legend has it that if lovers kissed on a gondola underneath the Bridge of Sighs at sunset, their love would last for eternity. Really? Huh.

7. Iron Bridge of Shropshire Englandiron-bridge

The Iron Bridge, spanning the Severn river in Shropshire, England, isn’t a particularly large or ornate bridge, but it does have something that made it unique: it’s the first bridge made completely out of cast iron and the bridge reflection scenery is just so magnificent.

iron-bridge-night

6. Covered “Kissing Bridge” of Ontario, Canadakissing-bridge-ontario

Above is the photo of The West Montrose Covered Bridge or locally known as Kissing Bridge on the Grand River, Ontario, Canada. In the 19th century, timber was plentiful and cheap. So it’s natural that this bridge was made of wood. But why was it covered? Well, lovers aside, the real reason was much more practical: the wooden beams of the bridge lasted longer when protected from the elements. =D

5. Ponte Vecchio of Florence Italypointe-vecchio

The Ponte Vecchio is a medieval bridge over the Arno River. Actually, it’s much more than a bridge – it’s a street, a marketplace, and a landmark of Florence, Italy. The Ponte Vecchio that we know today was built in 1345 by Taddeo Gaddi after an older span was destroyed in a flood. In 1565, Duke Cosimo I de Medici ordered an architect named Giorgio Vasari to construct a roofed passageway. Centuries of haphazard additions gave the bridge’s distinctive, irregular appearance today. Isn’t it beautiful?

ponte-vecchio-night

4. The Wind and Rain Bridge of Chengyang Chinachengyang-bridge-2

The wind and rain bridges were a type of bridge built by the Dong people in China. Because they live in the lowlands and the valleys with many rivers, the Dong people are excellent bridge builders. They are called “wind and rain” bridges because the covered bridges not only let people cross the river, but also protect them from the elements.

3. Brooklyn Bridge of New York USAbrooklyn-bridge

In 1855, engineer John Roebling started to design a bridge that at the time would be the longest suspension bridge in the world, with towers being the tallest structures in the Western Hemisphere: the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. Today, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the main crossings of the East River and one of the most heavily trafficked bridges in the world. But in the late 19th century, it took Roebling more than 14 years to convince the city to build the bridge. One interesting note about the Brooklyn Bridge: it stood fast while other bridges built around the same time had crumbled. Engineers credit Roebling for designing a bridge and truss system six times as strong as he thought it needed to be!

brooklyn-bridge-sunrise

2. Tower Bridge of London Englandtower-bridge-twilight

Construction of the Tower Bridge started 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. I’d been there and it is really awesome bridge.

tower-bridge-night

1. Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco USAgolden-gate-bridge-hdr

The Golden Gate Bridge is such an iconic symbol of San Francisco that it’s hard to imagine a time when it didn’t exist. 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, a veteran bridge builder named Joseph Strauss lobbied for more than two decades to have it built. The color of the Golden Gate Bridge is actually not red – it’s an orange vermillion called International Orange. The color was chosen specifically because it complements the bridge’s natural surrounding yet enhances its visibility in the fog. Construction took more than four years, at a cost of $27 million. The Golden Gate Bridge actually came in $1.3 million under budget. For his work, Strauss got $1 million … and a lifetime bridge pass!

golden-gate-bridge-night

Resource: Iransportpress

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Category: Arts and Culture, East Asia, Europe, Featured, Middle East, North America

Comments (47)

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  1. dave says:

    lovedabridges

  2. Norbi says:

    thank’s for the wonderful pictures..great shots

  3. Gert says:

    Thanks! lovely pics and good read

  4. Johnny Aagaard says:

    You are missing the the Big belt bridge.

  5. gheorge says:

    beautiful. splendid. excellent. the world is very beautiful indeed. thank you.

  6. arena84 says:

    yes..they are beautiful. ive been on some of them =)

  7. lorence says:

    coooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool

  8. Michael Dennison says:

    OMG SO B E A U TIFUL!! MY NAME IS MICHAEL. I AM FROM ITALY. I AM HOMO. PLEASE SOMEONE GET ME A GUY I WANNA GO WITH HIM TO THESE BRIDGES.

  9. arena84 says:

    huh..

  10. arena84 says:

    they are beautiful..

  11. kat says:

    Thx! used the pics for a class project! beautiful shots…..=]

  12. arena84 says:

    just dont forget to credit it :)

  13. gaurav bansal says:

    love the golden bridge………. nice pics,…..

  14. arena84 says:

    they are superb photos..agree with ya..

  15. Davies says:

    The bridges are wonderful……..

  16. amir says:

    isfahan has a several old bridge. that every of them are butifull.
    i like them and suggest to every one that see them.

    note!-you wrote “istafan” that it is’nt correct. isfahan is the correct name.

  17. arena84 says:

    yeah they are really beautiful. eh wait. did i spell it wrong? ill fix it, thanks. :D

  18. TANVEER says:

    i m realy thankful to u ppl who….hav take these shots ……they r nice realy beautiful n useful 4 a civil engg. student like me …….one again i m thanful to u
    ..

  19. BAZZA says:

    THIS SO COOL DUDE

  20. arena84 says:

    good thing u took benefits from it. i feel honored.

  21. varinder arora says:

    excelent pic

  22. arena84 says:

    indeed.

  23. timbit says:

    bridges are HOT

  24. C.O. Jones says:

    I agree with most of your choices, except that you have your priorities turned around; not to take anything away from modern, steel bridges: There isn’t a modern bridge that rivals most of the elaborate ancient bridges in beauty and sheer engineering prowess. You should turn it around and make the old ones occupy the lower numbers, if the lower numbers depict greater beauty.

    It’s so much easier in modern times to work materials that are readily available (lots of them originally discovered by the ancients,) that I definitely have to atribute much more engineering prowess to those bridges of antiquity.

    And as far as engineering prowess, there are many of these bridges, like Trajan’s bridge over the Targus at Alcazar, Spain, built by Gaius Julius Lacer, that are, not only still standing after thousands of years, but have modern vehicle traffic moving over them.

    Our more modern structures have never lasted anywhere near what the archaic ones have. We only discovered the Roman secret to making cement some 50 or 60 years ago… Before that, our standard cement only had an average 30 years’ life span.

    In contrast, although I have to admit that I admire some modern bridges for their ‘beauty’ and engineering prowess, I also have to admit that, in contrast to the engineering and architecture of the ancient bridges, the modern ones look like skeletons awaiting their outer shell.

    As a former military engineer, I believe I know from whence I speak.

    Charley Jones

  25. C.O. Jones says:

    By the way, U.S. Pennsylvania Dutch country has lots of these covered bridges that are better looking and better decorated than the plain-Jane one you show here.

    This covered bridge is neither beautiful, nor any kind of feat of engineering.

    Charley Jones

  26. Parth Gada says:

    Lovely shots!!! It helped me in my science fair project on bridges

  27. arena84 says:

    @CO Jones.
    I’ll try to post more about beautiful bridges..thanks for ur feedback. :)

  28. arena84 says:

    @Parth Garda Sweet. It is nice I can be a help to you

  29. johnsmith says:

    Hello,

    Its so amazing picutres which i had never seened, well job and nice posting.

    Redards,
    johnsmith

  30. ahdiong says:

    I very like this pictures of bridge…
    Hope malaysia also can hv this kind of structures…
    Heee…

  31. Tiffany says:

    I love Golden Gate Bridge to the core! <3 And San francisco FTW~

  32. ugg boots says:

    Hope malaysia also can hv this kind of structures…

  33. robin says:

    This posting really worth to see.and also all pictures are very beautiful.
    Personally i like Ponte Vecchio most because of its architecture.

  34. Tina says:

    Absolutely amazing bridges and photos, the range of different bridges is incredible and beautiful.

  35. Mattheus says:

    Beautiful photos, but how could anyone ignore this one:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cc/JK_bridge_Brasilia_lights.jpg

  36. The pictures are really beautiful.Would be my pleasure if i get a chance to see these beautifull places.

  37. the pictures are really nice and attractive..thanks

  38. Hosers says:

    This would have been a good list if it wasn’t for the American homerism.

    Those US bridges shouldn’t be on the list, maybe Golden Gate, but a heck of a lot lower.

    You also left off some very beautiful bridges in the world.

  39. Sammy says:

    Golden Gate Bridge – A Suspension Bridge is really beautiful. Bridge looks red in color but actually its orange.
    http://www.thetop10guide.net/top-10-remarkable-bridges-in-the-world.html

  40. James Clark says:

    Wonderful bridges. I would have put the Forth Bridge in Scotland in my list, but there are so many to choose from so well done for getting down to 10.

  41. I had never even hear of the Khaju Brigde of Isfahan Iran, but it is amazingly beautiful!

  42. bandung says:

    Wonderful bridges. the pictures are really nice and attractive.