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9 Architectural Marvels: The World’s Most Iconic Bridges

You’ll want to plan your whole trip around these architectural marvels!

Today, Must See Places takes you to a world where engineering meets artistry in the form of stone, steel, and ingenuity! Our journey of iconic bridges transcends mere infrastructure. It’s a voyage through culture, history, and human achievement.

They’re not just pathways, either. From the breathtaking beauty of the Tower Bridge in London to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge stretching majestically across the San Francisco Bay, each form tells a story of ambition and innovation.

So join us as we marvel at the engineering feats shaping our world. Here are the 9 most iconic bridges in the world!

Architectural Marvel
Photo by TTstudio at Shutterstock

Architectural marvel: Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, New York

One of the most iconic and recognizable bridges in the United States, the Brooklyn Bridge is more than just something that connects two boroughs. It’s also a perfect example of stunning architecture. Built in 1883, it became the world’s very first steel-wire suspension bridge.

And due to its novelty, according to Mental Floss, P.T. Barnum, the man behind the Barnum and Bailey Circus, paraded 21 elephants across the bridge in 1884 to prove how sturdy it truly was.

Nowadays, the bridge is a significant tourist attraction and a crossing for thousands of vehicles and pedestrians daily.

Architectural marvel: Pont Alexandre III, Paris, France

This well-known iconic bridge in France is considered by many folks to be one of the most beautiful sights in Paris, if not the world.

Its best features are the iron, gilded, and stone statues of pegasus, nymphs, lions, and cherubs. But the best part of this structure is its significant location, close to the Champs-Elysees and near the tomb of Napoleon.

Architectural marvel: Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic

As part of the Royal Route, the medieval structure of the Charles Bridge in Prague sits on 16 pillars and is one of the most stunning arches worldwide, at 1693 feet long, 31 feet wide, and 43 feet in height.

It was commissioned by Charles IV in 1357, after a flood destroyed “Judith Bridge” fifteen years prior, with Peter Parler, the renowned German-Czech architect-in-lead of the construction, which took nearly 50 years to complete.

Once known as “Prague,” or “Stone” this iconic bridge was finally inaugurated in 1502 as the only bridge that was over the Vltava River until 1841. Today, it’s considered the oldest bridge on that river and the second oldest in the country.

It’s frequently loaded with painters, various artists, and musicians for entertainment. Many myths behind the bridge keep hundreds of thousands of tourists going to the location while sticking around for its beauty.

The structure is constructed out of sandstone blocks, and it’s rumored that one of the builders included raw eggs as a mortar component.

Another fascinating legend is of the notable St. John of Nepomuk statue on the bridge, which has a significant religious meaning about the Czech saint.

Many say that he sacrificed his life while being tortured upon not giving away a queen’s secret, interestingly enough with his tongue naturally preserved, for over a century after he passed away. After his body was thrown off the bridge, the arch collapsed.

Only after the builders pledged the soul of the first person to take a step on the future bridge to be handed to the Devil did the bridge become fixable again. What do you think? Do YOU believe the lore?

Architectural marvel: Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge, Liuzhou, China

The Chengyang Bridge is as functional as it is beautiful. Constructed as a “wind and rain bridge,” this bridge includes five pavilions linked by covered walkways to shield visitors as they pass across the Linxi River below them.

The structure was created in 1912 and used no nails, incorporating only wood joined by dovetailing that has shockingly withstood the elements of mother nature for over 100 years.

This bridge is just one example of how structures connect not only land but people because it runs between two villages of the Dong people.

Architectural Marvel
Photo by canadastock at Shutterstock

Architectural marvel: Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy

Most people already know that Venice is a beautiful city full of bridges, but the Rialto Bridge is the oldest structure which crosses the Grand Canal.

It was initially built as a pontoon bridge sometime in the 12th century and serves as one of the access points to the financial center of the city.

Since the structure was constructed using a few different materials over the course of its history, it has collapsed and been rebuilt quite a few times. The current representation is made out of stone and was finished in the late 1500s.

Architectural marvel: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California

You probably already know, but this San Francisco bridge isn’t actually made of gold. And it’s actually more of a rusty orange hue that goes with the bridge’s natural surroundings while still allowing it to stand out.

When it first started being used in 1937, it was the tallest and longest bridge in the world, spanning almost a mile long (4,200 feet) and measuring at 746 feet high. The beautiful bridge links San Francisco with the San Francisco Bay overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Architectural marvel: Tower Bridge, London, England

This incredible bridge has been designed as somewhat of an accessory to the Tower of London, which it borders, as a movable drawbridge, a design also called the double-leaf bascule.

Traversing the width of the Thames River, it joins the Greater London boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Southwark as one of the most distinctive landmarks of the English capital.

With the construction concluded in 1894, this around 785-foot long bridge opened 250 feet wide to let the ships pass through. Its twin towers are 200 feet tall. Tourists adore the glass-covered walkways linking the towers, and they’re a hot spot for taking photos.

So don’t forget your camera when visiting! They were originally designed to permit a pathway for pedestrians when the bridge is raised.

Utilized by steam-driven hydraulic pumps until 1976 and electric motors ever since, the steam power system is still being kept in great shape as a tourist attraction if you’re looking for a lesson into the past.

Architectural marvel: Stari Most, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Stari Most literally translates to “Old Bridge.” The original limestone structure was inaugurated sometime in the 16th century, and at the time was one of the best examples of Islamic architecture worldwide.

It proudly stood for more than 400 years before being wasted in 1993 during the Croat–Bosniak War. Luckily, this beautiful bridge was rebuilt in 2004.

And today, men can enter an annual diving competition off the bridge. This is a tradition that honors the diver’s transition into manhood.

Architectural Marvel
Photo by FarkasB at Shutterstock

Architectural marvel: Szechenyi Chain Bridge, Budapest, Hungary

This suspension bridge can be found over the Danube river. It was completed in 1849 and has definitely seen its fair amount of history since that time.

The structure was destroyed by the Nazi army in 1945 and had to be reconstructed in 1949. One of its most notable features are the stone lions that were initially sculpted by János Marschalkó.

Have you ever visited any of these architectural marvels? If so, please feel free to share your experiences with our readers in the comments section below.

Meanwhile, Must See Places has many more fantastic locations you’ll want to know about. For instance, we highly recommend you also check out: Astro Tourism Adventures: 7 Best US Places to Enjoy the Night Sky

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