Crossings have never looked so good
Pont Alexandre III, Paris, France
Pont Alexandre III is probably Paris’ most ornate and elaborately designed bridge, resplendent with nymphs, winged horses, cherubs and more. Dating to the late 19th century, it soars across the Seine, connecting the Champs-Élysées area with Les Invalides and the Eiffel Tower, and is named for Russian Tsar Alexandre III.
Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy
The 16th-century Rialto Bridge – or Ponte di Rialto – crosses over the narrowest point of Venice’s Grand Canal, and is held up as a great feat of Renaissance-era architecture. An elegant arch complete with stone reliefs, Rialto replaced a wooden structure that had existed here since the 12th century and today it’s the oldest bridge to span the famous canal.
Bastei Bridge, Saxony, Germany
Dragon Bridge, Da Nang, Vietnam
Millau Viaduct, Aveyron, France
Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, New York, USA
Completed in 1883, Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York City’s most famous sights and it has a rich history too. Given the bridge’s lengthy span, New Yorkers were initially nervous of setting foot on the structure, and this fear was heightened after a stampede on the bridge killed 12 people. To help quell these anxieties, notorious circus man P. T. Barnum paraded 21 of his elephants across the length of the bridge to prove that it was safe. Usually thousands of vehicles and pedestrians now cross this East River bridge on a normal day.
Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic
Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Budapest, Hungary
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California, USA
San Francisco’s most famous landmark, the 1.7-mile-long (2.7km) Golden Gate Bridge is an instantly recognizable structure. One of the “Seven Wonders of the Modern World” according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the bridge opened in 1937 and was painted in International Orange to provide visibility in the fog for passing ships. You can discover the most impressive bridge in every state too.
Sheikh Zayed Bridge, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
A bridge has existed here since at least 966, though Ponte Vecchio in Florence has been devastated by flooding twice in its history. It’s not clear what year the present construction dates to, but it’s now one of Italy’s most recognizable bridges. There have been stores on the bridge for centuries too: they were once predominately butchers’ shops and fishmongers, but they now sell jewelry and souvenirs.
Stari Most, Mostar, Bosnia
Royal Gorge Bridge, Colorado, USA
Banpo Bridge, Seoul, South Korea
Seoul’s bold and colorful Banpo Bridge spans the Han River and connects the districts of Seocho and Yongsan. It has become famous for its Moonlight Rainbow Fountain show, in which beautiful LED lights shine, music plays and almost 200 tons of water passes through both sides of the bridge every minute. Take a look at more of the world’s most spectacular water displays here.
Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol, England
Gapstow Bridge, New York City, New York, USA
Tower Bridge, London, England
Completed 126 years ago, Tower Bridge (not to be confused with the more simple London Bridge to the west) is one of London’s most recognizable landmarks, known for its Victorian engine rooms and its glass-bottomed viewing deck. Upon its completion it was one of the largest bascule (moveable) bridges in the world and its hulking towers and bold blue expanse remains an icon of the Big Smoke to this day.
The Torensluis, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
With over 1,200 bridges in Amsterdam, it’s hard to choose the most beautiful, but the Torensluis is certainly a strong contender. Once the site of the Jan Roodenpoortstoren tower, the structure gets extra points for being one of the city’s oldest and widest bridges too. It stretches across Amsterdam’s famed Singel canal.
Konitsa Bridge, Konitsa, Greece
Ponte dei Sospiri, Venice, Italy
Often touted as one of the most beautiful bridges in the world, and certainly one of the most photographed, Venice’s Ponte dei Sospiri, or Bridge of Sighs, was constructed around 1600. It was built to connect the old prison and interrogation rooms in the Palazzo Ducale to the newer prison across the canal, and its name reportedly comes from the sighs of the prisoners who crossed its expanse. Legend has it that if a couple kisses under the bridge while on a gondola at sunset, they will enjoy eternal love.
The Helix, Singapore
Just one of the city’s many striking feats of architecture, Singapore’s Helix provides a walkway across the Singapore River, between the city’s central business district Marina Centre and Marina South in the Marina Bay area. Its name comes from its futuristic structure, which resembles a double helix.
Pons Fabricius, Rome, Italy
The oldest Roman bridge in Rome, the Pons Fabricius (also known as Ponte dei Quattro Capi) was built in 62 BC to replace a wooden bridge destroyed in a fire. Its Italian name, Quattro Capi (“four heads”) refers to the striking double-faced herms which were moved to the bridge in the 14th century. Discover more fascinating facts about the world’s Roman ruins.
Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney, Australia
Sydney’s Harbour Bridge is one of the world’s largest steel-arch bridges, connecting the city’s northern suburbs with its buzzing center. But, impressive as it is, it’s not all about appearances – the structure is an important functioning bridge too, with more than 200,000 cars usually traveling over it on an average day.
Les Ferreres Aqueduct, Tarragona, Spain
Built to supply the city of Tarragona with water, and now an UNESCO World Heritage Site, this ancient bridge is also known as Pont del Diable, and was once part of a much larger structure. Les Ferreres Aqueduct is still an impressive sight, though, stretching out for 712 feet (217m) and reaching a peak of 89 feet (27m). Now check out these stunning images of Europe’s most adorable small towns and villages.
Seri Wawasan Bridge, Putrajaya, Malaysia
Jacques Cartier Bridge, Montréal, Canada
Montréal’s Jacques Cartier Bridge is not just beautiful, but clever too. Its intuitive illumination display constantly changes to reflect the season, time of day and the city’s “energy”, which is decided by weather, traffic and social-media data collected over the course of the day.
Fishing Bridge, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA
Puente Nuevo, Ronda, Spain
Taking over 30 years to build, Puente Nuevo is the newest of a trio of bridges that stretch over the El Tajo gorge. Completed in 1793, it connects the city’s old and new towns. There’s also a history museum here dedicated to the bridge whose building once served as a prison. Now read on to discover the world’s most beautiful cities.
Pont du Gard, Vers-Pont-du-Gard, France
This structure is one of the most impressive ancient monuments in France today. Built halfway through the first century AD, the aqueduct supplied the city of Nîmes with water and is now an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Museum of the Pont du Gard chronicles the history of the aqueduct’s construction and details the way of life here during the Roman era. Now discover the incredible stories behind the world’s most historic cities.
Kintai Bridge, Iwakuni, Japan
The picturesque Kintai Bridge is an architectural masterpiece in Japan’s Yamaguchi Prefecture. It’s made up of five graceful wooden arches stretching neatly over the Nishiki River and was originally built in 1673. Today’s bridge is actually a 20th-century reconstruction, since the first structure was destroyed in a typhoon, but it’s equally as beautiful as the original. Now take our quiz: can you guess these famous landmarks from their close-ups?
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