Even if they are extravagant, futuristic or historical, they will not leave those who cross them indifferent. From New York to Sydney via London, search in pictures for our selection of the most famous bridges around the world.
What would London be without the Tower Bridge, Venice without the Rialto Bridge or San Francisco without the Golden Gate Bridge? Thanks to their original architecture and unique history, some bridges have the status of monuments in their own right, stars of postcards and tourist programs. Discover our list of the ten most famous bridges in the world, with, each time, our original advice for passing …
Tower Bridge in London, the most amazing
The unique intersection of a drawbridge and medieval towers, Tower Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in the world. This bridge over the Thames is relatively new: it was opened to traffic in 1894, almost 150 years after its neighbor, the majestic London Bridge. Its original neo-Gothic architecture is the work of Sir John Wolfe-Barry, a prolific British engineer, author of many other bridges in London, including the Cannon Street Rail Bridge and the Blackfriars Rail Bridge.
Our advice: push the museum door and climb inside the towers! You will discover the operation of the hydraulic machinery that moves the bridge and enjoy the unique views of London.
Rialto Bridge in Venice, the most romantic
The Rialto Bridge is the oldest bridge over the Grand Canal in Venice and the geographical heart of the city. A must! This bridge, 48 meters long, was built from 1588 to 1591 in Istrian stone, a limestone similar to marble. The bold architecture for the period, with an arch, three pedestrian walkways and two rows of shops, was the work of the aptly named Antonio da Ponte. The Italian-Swiss engineer won the competition ahead of more traditional proposals, including a project proposed by the famous Michelangelo.
Our advice: on the sides of the Rialto Bridge, see four elegant sculptures. In the south, the Annunciation, in the north, the two patrons of Venice, Theodore and Mark.
Ponte Vecchio in Florence, the most commercial
The Ponte Vecchio can be seen as an unlikely construction game balanced on the Arno in Florence. When it opened in 1345, shops on either side of the apron housed tanners, butchers and fishmongers. In 1593, Ferdinand I de’ Medici, sick of the smells, ordered to replace them with jewels and jewels. The luxury boutiques are still there, with their sparkling windows. In the middle of the bridge, a statue honors Benvenuto Cellini, the most famous Florentine goldsmith of the 16th century.
Our advice: walk through the Vasari Corridor, on the upper level of the Ponte Vecchio. This covered passage was used by the Medici family to avoid being escorted from the Palazzo Pitti to the Palazzo Vecchio.
Chapel Bridge in Lucerne, the oldest
Built in 1333, the Kapellbrücke, or Chapel Bridge, holds the title of the oldest covered wooden bridge in Europe. Unfortunately, the 204 meter long bridge was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1993. Only the ends and the huge water tower were saved from the flames. The fire also destroyed 78 of the 111 17th-century paintings that adorned the framework. Since then, the bridge has been expertly rebuilt and the copies of the triangular panels once again tell the story of Switzerland.
Our advice: below the Reuss, the Pont des Moulins is less known to tourists but is worth a visit. This bridge from 1408 has an excellent collection of paintings from the 16th century.
Charles Bridge in Prague, the most mysterious
Connecting the Old Town to the Prague Castle Hill since 1380, the Charles Bridge displays a unique medieval architecture, supported by two Gothic towers. In the 17th century, 30 statues of saints were added, including that of Saint John Nepomuk, at the place where the saint was thrown into the Vitava River in 1393. Tourists line up to make a wish through touch the statue! Another legend: at night, the statue of the Turkish warrior at the foot of Saint-Ivan descends from its pedestal to run across the bridge, whip in hand. Watch out for what he encounters…
Our advice: can you find the interloper among the saints? This is the statue of the knight Brunswick, with his golden sword and the coat of arms of Prague on his shield.
Dom-Luís Bridge in Porto, the most French
Inaugurated in 1886 by King Louis I, whose name it bears, the Dom-Luís bridge tells the story of the stormy relationship between Gustave Eiffel and his former partner, Théophile Seyrig. The idea of a deck supported by an arch was imagined by Seyrig in 1877 for another bridge in Porto, but when Eiffel wanted to take the concept for the viaduct of Garabit, in Cantal, a financial separation ended the their collaboration. . Nevertheless, the Dom-Luís bridge remains a success, earning it the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Our advice: both levels are accessible to pedestrians but the most beautiful view of Porto is revealed from the upper level, which towers over the city from a height of 45 meters.
Brooklyn Bridge in New York, the most cinephile
The first bridge built over the East River in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge testifies to the beginning of New York. At that time, small New York City had not yet reached its height and Brooklyn was an independent city. Today, the characteristic silhouette of the bridge, with its stone arches and the forest of cables, alone symbolizes the Big Apple. In addition, there are countless films and series that show the bridge to find the plot of a view of New York, from Marathon Man to Godzilla.
Our advice: for a spectacular view of the Brooklyn Bridge, grab a drink at Harriet’s Rooftop Bar, the rooftop bar at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, next to the bridge. Open daily from 11 am to midnight.
Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the most visible
It’s impossible to miss the Golden Gate Bridge at the entrance to San Francisco Bay! This bridge, supported by two huge pylons 230 meters high, was the longest suspension bridge in the world from 1937 to 1964. The Golden Gate Bridge also owes its fame to its bright color, which is known as “international orange”. A color imposed by its designer, the American architect Irving Morrow, who had a nose and beard in the US Navy, who demanded that the bridge be painted yellow with black stripes.
Our advice: rent a bike at Fisherman’s Wharf and follow the bike path along the bay to the Golden Gate Bridge. The journey, which takes about twenty minutes, offers a breathtaking view of the bridge.
Helix Bridge in Singapore, the most scientific
Inaugurated in 2010, the Helix Bridge is a 280 meter long pedestrian bridge that connects Singapore’s Business District to the residential and tourist area of Marina Bay. Its architecture is unique: the deck is supported by two complex helical steel structures. An architecture directly inspired by the shape of DNA! Another finding: instead of crossing the bay in a straight line, the bridge draws a wide curve so that passers-by are kept as far as possible from the nearby road bridge.
Our advice: wait until night to walk the Helix Bridge. A lot of small blue and white lights then give the bridge a very futuristic atmosphere.
Sydney Harbor Bridge in Sydney, the widest
The time difference is obligatory, the Sydney Harbor Bridge is visible every year, at midnight, by kicking off the New Year’s fireworks. Its shape was actually inspired by the Hell Gate Bridge, a bridge inaugurated 15 years ago in New York… With a difference in size, however: the Sydney Harbor Bridge remains the widest bridge in world, with 48.8 meters .
Our advice: vertigo you are not afraid? Follow the guide and take the stairs along the arch. An adventure of almost 3 hours that offers an amazing view of the Australian metropolis!