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10 Most Iconic Bridges of the World

Bridges are some of the most important structures to man. They link landforms and span bodies of water or deep valleys that would otherwise require enormous effort or take a lot of time to cross. Bridges come in various shapes and sizes but the most memorable ones are those built to efficiently serve their purpose and at the same time look magnificent. Here are some of the world's most iconic bridges:

Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate and linking San Francisco and Marin County. It was designed by architect Joseph B. Strauss and took seven years to build. It was opened to traffic in 1937 and has since become one of the most popular tourist attractions in San Francisco and California. Its famous red-orange hue was specifically chosen to make the bridge more easily visible through the thick fog that frequently shrouds the area. The Golden Gate Bridge is considered as the most beautiful and most photographed bridge in the world.

 

Iconic Bridges: Tower Bridge - London, UK

Tower Bridge, London, UK

Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge (built 1886–1894) is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, England which crosses the River Thames. It took eight years to built and was opened to the public in 1894. It's name was derived from the nearby Tower of London. While Tower Bridge is usually associated with the popular nursery rhyme "London Bridge Is Falling Down," it has nothing to do with the song which refers to the collapses of other bridges in London.

 

Iconic Bridges: Sydney Harbour Bridge - Sydney, Australia

Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney, Australia

Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbour that carries rail, vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district (CBD) and the North Shore. It is lovingly nicknamed "The Coathanger" because of its arch-based design that resembles a coathanger. The bridge, the nearby Sydney Opera House and the harbour where the two structures are located have become an iconic image of Sydney, New South Wales, and Australia.

 

Iconic Bridges: Ponte Vecchio - Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio
The Ponte Vecchio, which literally means "old bridge" in Italian, is a bridge that spans over the Arno River in Florence, Italy. It was built during the Medieval ages and was the only bridge in Florence to survive World War II. The bridge is known for the numerous shops built along its sides, a common plactice in the days of the Medici. Butchers occupied the shops in the olden times but are now dominated by jewelers, art dealers and souvenir sellers.

 

Iconic Bridges: Millau Viaduct -Tarn Valley, France

Millau Viaduct, Tarn Valley, France

Millau Viaduct
The Millau Viaduct is a cable-stayed bridge that spans the valley of the River Tarn near Millau in southern France. It is considered as the world's highest vehicular bridge, with one mast's summit at 343.0 metres (1,125 ft) above the base of the structure. It is the 12th highest bridge deck in the world, being 270 metres (890 ft) between the road deck and the ground below.

 

Iconic Bridges: Helix Bridge - Marina Bay, Singapore

Helix Bridge, Marina Bay, Singapore

Helix Bridge
The Helix Bridge is a 280-meter long pedestrian bridge linking Marina Centre with Marina South in the Marina Bay area in Singapore. It is made of a special stainless steel, assembled over two years with great precision. It is officially opened to the public in July 2010. Despite being only two years old, the Helix Bridge is already being touted as an architectural marvel and engineering feat.

 

Iconic Bridges: Rialto Bridge - Venice, Italy

Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy

Rialto Bridge
The Rialto Bridge is one and the oldest of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. It also serves as the dividing line for the districts of San Marco and San Polo. Since its completion in 1591, some critics have predicted its eventual collapse because of its ambitious design. The bridge has defied naysayers and has become one of the architectural marvels of Venice.

 

Iconic Bridges: Stari Most - Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Stari Most, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Stari Most
Stari Most is a 16th-century Ottoman bridge spanning the river Neretva in the city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The present bridge is a reconstruction of the Old Bridge which stood for 427 years before suffering massive damages during the Croat–Bosniak War in 1993. The new bridge was opened on 23 July 2004. It is one of the country's most recognizable landmarks, it is also considered one of the most exemplary pieces of Islamic architecture in the Balkans. It is customary for the young men of the town to leap from the bridge into the Neretva.

 

Iconic Bridges: Chengyang Wind Rain Bridge - China

Chengyang Wind Rain Bridge, China

Chengyang Bridge
Chengyang Bridge, also called Wind and Rain Bridge, is a bridge that crosses Linxi River in Sanjiang County, People's Republic of China. It was completed in 1912 and have since served as the link between two populous villages in the area. Its architecture is a combination of bridge, corridor, veranda and Chinese pavilion. Not a single nail or rivet was used in its construction. Instead, builders dovetailed thousands of pieces of wood.

 

Iconic Bridges: Akashi-Kaikyō Bridge - Awaji Island, Japan

Akashi-Kaikyō Bridge, Awaji Island, Japan

Akashi-Kaikyō Bridge
Akashi-Kaikyō Bridge, also known as the Pearl Bridge, links the city of Kobe on the mainland of Honshu to Iwaya on Awaji Island, in Japan. It crosses the busy Akashi Strait (Akashi Kaikyō in Japanese) and carries part of the Honshu-Shikoku Highway. Considered a modern engineering feat, the Pearl Bridge holds the title of being the longest suspension bridge at 1,991 meters (6,532 feet) in the world since its completion in 1998.

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