10Best: Beautiful Bridges

  • slide 1

    Charles Bridge, Prague

    Prague's most iconic bridge was commissioned by King Charles IV in 1357 and is lined with dozens of Baroque statues of notable historic and religious figures. The cobbled bridge crosses the Vltava River and spans some 1,700 feet.

    Photo courtesy of QQ7/iStock

  • slide 2

    Tower Bridge, London

    The neo-Gothic Tower Bridge spanning the River Thames in London is arguably the world's most famous bridge. The bridge opened for traffic in 1894, and it now houses the Tower Bridge Exhibition where visitors can learn about the history of the famous London landmark.

    Photo courtesy of Davis Staedtler

  • slide 3

    Chengyang Bridge, Sanjiang, China

    Chengyang Bridge, or the Wind and Rain Bridge in English, was built by the people of the Dong minority group in 1916. The stunning Chinese-style covered bridge was also built using absolutely no nails or rivets, yet it remains sturdy.

    Photo courtesy of gill_penney

  • slide 4

    Rialto Bridge, Venice

    The Rialto Bridge, the most famous of the four bridges crossing the Grand Canal in Venice, was built in the late 16th century and remains one of the most visited attractions in the city.

    Photo courtesy of Artur Staszewski

  • slide 5

    Brooklyn Bridge, New York

    When the iconic Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883, it was the world's longest suspension bridge. Today the bridge connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn is open to vehicular traffic as well as to pedestrians, bikers and inline skaters who can cross via an elevated boardwalk.

    Photo courtesy of Steve Alexander

  • slide 6

    Helix Bridge, Singapore

    The Helix Bridge opened in Singapore in 2010 and proves that modern bridges can be just as beautiful as the classics. The curved pedestrian bridge, one of the first of its kind, was inspired by the idea of yin and yang, and its presence is thought to bring prosperity to the Marina Bay area.

    Photo courtesy of zhuzhu/iStock

  • slide 7

    Millau Viaduct Bridge, Midi-Pyrénées, France

    A true feat of modern engineering, the Millau Viaduct Bridge opened in 2004 as the world's tallest bridges-- taller than the Eiffel Tower -- with a mast summit of 1,125 feet above the base of the structure. The cable-stayed bridge in Southern France

    Photo courtesy of Simon Hart

  • slide 8

    Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

    Considered one of the top engineering achievements of the 20th century, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge receives some 10 million visitors each year. The simple Art Deco design of the bridge has become an integral part of the San Francisco skyline since it opened in 1937.

    Photo courtesy of San Francisco Travel Association

  • slide 9

    Banpo Bridge, Seoul

    The Banpo Bridge in Seoul might not look very special at first glance ... at least until the water comes on. The bridge has the distinction of the world's longest bridge fountain, and each night, more than 200 lights illuminate the synchronized, dancing jets of water.

    Photo courtesy of artapornp/iStock

  • slide 10

    Bixby Creek Bridge, Big Sur, Calif.

    Bixby Creek Bridge owes at least part of its beauty to its spectacular California coastal scenery. Located just south of Carmel-by-the-Sea in Big Sur, the concrete arch bridge opened in 1932.

    Photo courtesy of Franco Folini

  • slide 11

    Puente Nuevo, Ronda, Spain

    The Puente Nuevo Bridge, which today crosses the Tajo Gorge in Southern Spain, was first proposed in 1735 by King Felipe V, but the structure wasn't actually completed until 1793.

    Photo courtesy of Allard1/iStock

  • slide 12

    Vasco da Gama Bridge, Lisbon

    The 11-mile-long Vasco de Gama Bridge in Lisbon opened in 1998 as Europe's longest bridge and one of the longest in the entire world. Because of it's immense length, the engineering team responsible for the bridge had to account for the Earth's curvature in their plans.

    Photo courtesy of F Mira

  • slide 13

    Mackinac Bridge, Mackinac, Mich.

    The Mackinac Bridge, or Big Mac, is the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world and the longest in the Western Hemisphere.

    Photo courtesy of sWrightOsment

  • slide 14

    Kapellbrücke, Lucerne, Switzerland

    Built during the first half of the 14th century, the Kapellbrücke in Lucerne is one of the oldest wooden bridges in Switzerland. The covered bridge is particularly beautiful in summer when swans swim beneath it and flowers line its sides. The instide of the bridge is covered in 17th century paintings.

    Photo courtesy of torichter/iStock

  • slide 15

    Stari Most, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

    The Stari Most Bridge is the crowning jewel of the UNESCO-listed Old City of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This medieval stone bridge is popular with locals who can often be seen jumping from the bridge into the river below.

    Photo courtesy of Edward Reynolds

  • slide 16

    Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney

    If it weren't for the Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge would likely be the most recognizable landmark in the Sydney skyline. The bridge opened in 1932 and accommodates eight lanes of traffic, two rail tracks and a pedestrian walkway. Visitors looking for a photo-worthy view of the city can walk across in about 30 minutes.

    Photo courtesy of Nicki Mannix

  • slide 17

    Chain Bridge, Budapest

    The beautiful Chain Bridge was the first to cross the Danube River, connecting Buda and Pest. Today, crossing the bridge to enjoy the views from both sides is a must for every visitor to the city.

    Photo courtesy of emicristea/iStock

  • slide 18

    Millennium Bridge, London

    Just down the river from the Tower Bridge, a symbol of old London, is another bridge symbolizing the modern London. The Millennium Bridge is the first pedestrian crossing over the River Thames, offering an easy walk between St. Paul's Cathedral and the Tate Museum of Modern Art.

    Photo courtesy of Tanggman/iStock

  • slide 19

    Navajo Bridge, Arizona

    Navajo Bridge is the older of the two twin bridges that cross the Colorado River between Jacob Lake and Bitter Springs, Arizona. The historic bridge (it first opened in 1929) is made even more beautiful by the dramatic scenery of Glen Canyon.

    Photo courtesy of aoldman/iStock

  • slide 20

    Puente de la Mujer, Buenos Aires

    The Puente de la Mujer (The Bridge of Woman) in Buenos Aires is the only work by famed architect Santiago Calatrava in all of South America. The suspension pedestrian bridge was built almost entirely in Spain and shipped to Argentina in pieces over the course of five months.

    Photo courtesy of Christian Haugen

  • slide 21

    Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Tampa Bay, Fla.

    If you want to drive across the world's longest cable span bridge, you'll have to head to the Sunshine State and cross Tampa Bay on the 5.5-mile Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

    Photo courtesy of Delmas Lehman/iStock

  • slide 22

    Japanese Covered Bridge, Hoi An, Vietnam

    The charming Japanese Covered Bridge in Hoi An was built first in the last decade of the 16th century by the town's Japanese community.

    Photo courtesy of Olga Khoroshunova/iStock

  • slide 23

    Gapstow Bridge, New York

    Located at 59th Street in Central Park, the stone Gapstow Bridge was first built with wood in 1874 but was replaced with stone just over a decade later. Today, it's one of the most recognizable landmarks of the iconic park.

    Photo courtesy of f11photo/iStock

  • slide 24

    Khaju Bridge, Isfahan, Iran

    Khaju Bridge in Isfahan, Iran, recognizable by its 23 arches, was built in the middle of the 17th century to serve as both a bridge and a dam.

    Photo courtesy of Mohammad Amin Atbaei/iStock

  • slide 25

    Pont Alexandre III, Paris

    Ornamented with sculpture work and lamps at night, the Pont Alexandre III bridge is considered by many to be the most beautiful in Paris.

    Photo courtesy of ErickN/iStock

  • slide 26

    Puente de Alamillo, Seville, Spain

    You might think the Puente de Alamillo in Seville looks a lot like the Puente de la Mujer in Buenos Aires, and that's because both structures are the work of noted architect Santiago Calatrava. The Spanish version of the bridge was opened in 1992.

    Photo courtesy of massimofusaro/iStock

  • slide 27

    Pont du Gard, Remoulins, France

    The UNESCO-listed Pont du Gard was constructed by Roman architects just before the Christian era to serve as an aqueduct, but they also achieved an artistic feat, creating a bridge that is to this day considered one of the world's most beautiful.

    Photo courtesy of LianeM/iStock

  • slide 28

    Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

    Many bridges you can walk, bike or drive across. On Florence's Ponte Vecchio, you can shop for gold or fine jewelry -- there have been shops on the bridge since the 13th century. The bridge as it stands dates back to 1345 and was the only bridge in the city not destroyed by retreating German forces in World War II.

    Photo courtesy of Joan Campderrós-i-Canas

  • slide 29

    Langkawi Sky Bridge, Malaysia

    The oddly curved Lankawi Sky Bridge in Malaysia opened in 2005, and while it's been closed for renovations and repairs off and on since, when it is open, it offers excellent views of the rainforests surrounding it.

    Photo courtesy of Dylan Walters

  • slide 30

    Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, Charleston

    The eight lane Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge links the community of Mount Pleasant to Charleston. It's currently the third-longest cable stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere and widely regarded as one of the most beautiful.

    Photo courtesy of DalePowell/iStock


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