15 Most Famous Bridges in the World

Throughout the ages, man has been using architecture to bridge the gaps between physical obstacles, for the purpose of providing an easy passage. Most of these bridges are also regarded as landmarks and are a vital part of the infrastructures of regions around the world. Some have even become city icons because of their influence and engineering wonder. Below is a list of the most famous bridges in the world.

15Great Belt Bridge
Great Belt Bridgeflickr/Jadzia

The Great Belt bridge is actually two bridges – an Eastern and a Western section, split by the small island of Sprogø. The East Bridge, a 1,624 meter (5,328 feet) long suspension bridge crosses the deepest part of Storebælt between the island of Zealand and Sprogø. It has the third longest main span in the world. At 254 meter (833 feet) above sea level, the East Bridge’s two pylons are the highest points in Denmark. The West Bridge is a 6,611 meter (21,689 feet) long combined rail and road bridge between Sprogø and Funen.

14Chapel Bridge

The Chapel Bridge is a 204 meter (670 foot) long bridge crossing the Reuss River in the city of Lucerne in Switzerland. It is the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe, and one of Switzerland’s main tourist attractions. The covered bridge, constructed in 1333, was designed to help protect the city of Lucerne from attacks. Inside the bridge are a series of paintings from the 17th century, depicting events from Luzerne’s history. Much of the bridge, and the majority of these paintings, were destroyed in a 1993 fire, though it was quickly rebuilt.

13Chengyang Bridge
Chengyang Bridgeflickr/Ewen Bell

Chengyang Bridge (also known as Wind and Rain Bridge) was built in 1916, and it is the most famous among the wind and rain bridges in the Dong Minority Region in China. The bridge stretches across the Linxi River and it still in heavy use. It is constructed of wood and stone without nails or rivets and is the largest of all the wind and rain bridges. It is 64.4 meters long, 3.4 meters wide and 10.6 meters high.

12Brooklyn Bridge

Completed in 1883, Brooklyn Bridge connects Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River. At the time it opened, and for several years, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world and it has become a famous and iconic landmark of New York. The bridge has a wide pedestrian walkway open to walkers and cyclists. This walkway takes on a special importance in times of difficulty when usual means of crossing the East River have become unavailable as happened during several blackouts and most famously after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

11Alcántara Bridge

Crossing the Tagus River at Alcántara in Spain, the Alcántara Bridge is a masterpiece of ancient Roman bridge building. The bridge was built between 104 and 106 by an order of the Roman Emperor Trajan in 98 AD, who is honored by a triumphal arch in the center of the bridge and a small temple at one end. The Alcántara Bridge has taken more damage from war than from the elements. The Moors destroyed the smallest arch on one side while the second arch on the other side was destroyed by the Spanish to stop the Portuguese.

10Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridgeflickr/apdk

Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of Australia’s most well known and photographed landmarks. It is the world’s largest (but not the longest) steel arch bridge with the top of the bridge standing 134 meters (440 feet) above Sydney Harbour. It took eight years to build and opened in March 1932. Because the steel expands or contracts depending on whether it is hot or cold the bridge is not completely stationary and can rise or fall up to 18 cm (7.1 inch).

9Stari Most
Stari Mostflickr/rejflinger

Stari Most (“The Old Bridge”) is a famous bridge crossing the river Neretva in the city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was built by the Ottaman Turks in 1566 and stood for 427 years, until the bridge was destroyed in 1993 during the Bosnian War. Subsequently, a project was set in motion to rebuild it, and the new bridge opened in 2004. It is traditional for the young men of the town to leap from the bridge into the Neretva. As the river is very cold, this is a very risky feat and only the most skilled and best trained divers will attempt it.

8Si-o-se Pol
Si-o-se Polwikipedia/Reza Haji-pour

Si-o-se Pol (The Bridge of 33 Arches) is a famous bridge in the Iranian city of Isfahan. It is highly ranked as being one of the most famous examples of Safavid bridge design. Commissioned in 1602 by Shah Abbas I, the bridge is build of bricks and stones. It is 295 meters long and 13.75 meters wide. It is said that the bridge originally comprised 40 arches however this number gradually reduced to 33.

7Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge

The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, also known as the Pearl Bridge, is the longest suspension bridge at 1,991 meters (6,532 feet) in the world. It spans the Akashi Strait in Japan connecting Kobe on the mainland and Iwaya on Awayi Island. The bridge took almost 12 years to build and was opened for traffic in 1998. The central span was originally only 1,990 meter but the Kobe earthquake on January 17, 1995, moved the two towers so that it had to be increased by 1 meter.

6Rialto Bridge
Rialto Bridgeflickr/llamnudds

The Rialto Bridge is one of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. It is the oldest bridge across the canal. The present stone bridge, a single span designed by Antonio da Ponte, was completed in 1591 and was used to replace a wooden bridge that collapsed in 1524. The engineering of the bridge was considered so audacious that some architects predicted a future collapse. The bridge has defied its critics to become one of the architectural icons of Venice.

5Charles Bridge
Charles Bridgeflickr/Gaspa

The Charles Bridge is a famous is a stone Gothic bridge that crosses the Vltava river in Prague, Czech Republic. Its construction started in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV, and finished in the beginning of the 15th century. As the only means of crossing the river Vltava, the Charles Bridge was the most important connection between the Old Town and the area around Prague Castle. connection made Prague important as a trade route between Eastern and Western Europe. Today it is one of the most visited sights in Prague with painters, owners of kiosks and other traders alongside numerous tourists crossing the bridge.

4Tower Bridge
Tower Bridgeflickr/raindog

Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, over the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, which gives it its name and has become an iconic symbol of London. Construction started in 1886 and took eight years to build. The bridge consists of two towers which are tied together at the upper level by means of two horizontal walkways which are designed to withstand the forces of the suspended sections of the bridge.

3Millau Bridge
Millau Bridgeflickr/FaceMePLS

The Millau Viaduct is an enormous cable-stayed road-bridge that spans the valley of the river Tarn near Millau in southern France. It is the tallest vehicular bridge in the world, with the highest pylon’s summit at 343 meters (1,125 ft) — slightly taller than the Eiffel Tower. The speed limit on the bridge was reduced from 130 km/h (81 mph) to 110 km/h (68 mph) because of traffic slowing down, due to tourists taking pictures of the bridge from the vehicles. Shortly after the bridge opened to traffic, passengers were stopping to admire the landscape and the bridge itself.

2Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridgeflickr/aslakr

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the strait between San Francisco and Marin County to the north. The masterwork of architect Joseph B. Strauss, whose statue graces the southern observation deck, the bridge took seven years to build, and was completed in 1937. The Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed, and has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in San Francisco and California. Since its completion, the span length has been surpassed by eight other bridges. The famous red-orange color of the bridge was specifically chosen to make the bridge more easily visible through the thick fog that frequently shrouds the bridge.

1Ponte Vecchio

The Ponte Vecchio (literally “old bridge”) is a Medieval bridge over the Arno River in Florence; the only Florentine bridge to survive WW2. The bridge is famous for still having shops built along it, as was common in the days of the Medici. Butchers initially occupied the shops; the present tenants are jewelers, art dealers and souvenir sellers. It is said that the economic concept of bankruptcy originated here: when a merchant could not pay his debts, the table on which he sold his wares (the “banco”) was physically broken (“rotto”) by soldiers, and this practice was called “bancorotto” (broken table).

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Map of Most Famous Bridges In The World

28 comments

  1. Pingback: New York – Brooklyn Bridge | Find Tours and Trips

  2. Marcella

    Are you kidding me? A man with a broken arm and poor vision in Darfur can recognize the Golden Gate Bridge from miles away. Ask a scholar about Ponte Vecchio and he’ll stare and you blankly with the expression: “WTF, mate?”

  3. Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge (Višegrad Bridge = Ćuprija Na Drini) in Bosnia – Main motif for late Bosnian novelist Ivo Andrić’s novel “Bridge over the Drina” (“Na Drini Ćuprija”) which brought him Nobel Prize for literature 1961.

    The Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge (Bosnian: Ćuprija Mehmed-paše Sokolovića) is a bridge in Višegrad, over the Drina River in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was completed in 1577 AD by the Ottoman court architect Mimar Sinan, same architect who built Old Bridge (Stari Most) in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the order of the Grand Vizier Mehmed Paša Sokolović.
    UNESCO included the facility in its 2007 World Heritage List.

  4. Golden Gate Bridge – A Suspension Bridge is really beautiful. Bridge looks red in color but actually its orange. At night it looks awesome!!!

  5. Joe

    Wait…what? I thought this was supposed to be a list of the most famous bridges. I’ve never even heard of the bridge you picked for number one! Surely Golden Gate is the most famous in the world and like someone else said, you left out the Brooklyn Bridge. This list is obviously very biased towards Europe.

  6. Robin
    Author

    Added the Brooklyn Bridge to Famous Bridges in the World list. Still surprised and shocked that some people are not familiar with the Ponte Vecchio, the iconic bridge of Florence.

  7. I absolutely love your site, especially the top ten lists and such. I’m not familiar with the Ponte Vecchio either (well now I am) but it certainly does look beautiful, which makes me think that maybe the title of this article should have been the most beautiful bridges instead of the most famous. Just a thought.

  8. aira

    Oh my!.. I can’t help but stare at all of those wonderful bridges. Oh how I wish I could walk on one of those bridges.

  9. aira

    Maybe the number one is well known for tourists or travelers. I myself is familiar with Golden Gate because of the movies.

  10. Vinz

    And what about these ones? (maybe they are only famous in Europe, I don’t know)
    Pont du Gard
    Aqueduct of Segovia

  11. David Brownless

    The most famous bridges in the world were made in Middlesbrough ,England dorman long the best steel producer in the world eg Sydney bridge,transporter.bridge ,first vertical lifting bridge and many more all over the world from china to Denmark to south Africa check them out from a boro fan

  12. Jack Shown

    Without any question, the Ponte Vecchio is the world’s most famous bridge. Its history far surpasses any bridge that was built in San Francisco a mere 75 years ago. By comparison, the Ponte Vecchio is 667 years old. Even the Vasari Corridor, built on top of it, is 447 years old and while the former is a bustling bridge filled with shops, the later is a museum of Renaissance art connecting two of the world’s greatest museums (the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace). I would have included the Pont Neuf in Paris, the Bridge of Sighs in Venice and London Bridge in Lake Havasu.

  13. Marie Muna

    For me and this is my opinion so I hope I do not offend anyone, but I feel that the two most beautiful bridges are 1. Sidney Harbour Bridge, 2. London Tower Bridge and 3. San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge.

  14. Bambanani Gwedla

    Wooooow i LOVE this website, it really helped me with my project and a BIG thank you to all who made it possible…….. Love you… all the way from SOUTH AFRICA…

  15. Ellie Brown

    Very good. I found it very useful for my DT homework on bridges. would reccomend!!!

  16. Carla

    Thankful to have found this site and hear thoughts and suggestions from fellow bridge lovers. Of course, living in San Francisco I am somewhat spoiled and certainly appreciate the votes for our Golden Gate! Check out our new eastern span of the Bay Bridge and my second favorite the Sundial Bridge in Redding CA. I am trying to visit a bridge on every vacation and now have many more to add my my growing list – thanks.

  17. Kimberly prestia

    The Verrazano Narrows Bridge should of been on this list it’s the longest double decker suspension bridge in the U.S.A.

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