June 29, 2012
6 Bridges in Europe that Span Time and Water
From major feats of engineering to historic spanners that have held strong through the decades, Europe’s masterful bridges not only get people from one bank to the other, but look beautiful in the crossing.
Pont du Gard, France
Spanning the Gard River in southern France, this 31-mile long Roman aqueduct bridge runs between Uzès and Nimes. Featuring three tiers of arches, the bridge was constructed by the Romans in the 1st century AD and was estimated to carry 44 million gallons of water a day.
Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
A medieval stone bridge lined today with ritzy shops selling diamond jewelry and souvenirs, the Ponte Vecchio serves as a strolling destination for tourists who are dazzled by its wealth and quaint arches. Crossing the Arno River at its narrowest point in Florence, the bridge is one of the main pedestrian connections between the city’s two banks.
Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic
Constructed in 1357 under the commission of King Charles IV, the Charles Bridge until 1841 was the only means of crossing the river Vltava in Prague. The bridge spans the divide between the Prague Castle and the city’s old Town and features three gothic-style bridge towers and 30 baroque statues.
Stari Most, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Protected by two towers, one at each end, Stari Most spans the river Neretva. Connecting the two parts of the city of Mostar, the bridge was commissioned by Suleiman the Magnificent in 1557. The bridge was partially destroyed in 1993 during the Croat-Bosniak War but was later rebuilt to rejoin this historic area.
Chain Bridge, Budapest, Hungary
The first permanent bridge to cross the River Danube, the Széchenyi Bridge commonly known as the Chain Bridge opened in 1849. Regarded as a symbol of advancement at the time of its construction, the bridge served as the linkage between the east and the west and the connection of Buda and Pest.
Chapel Bridge, Lucerne, Switzerland
The oldest covered bridge in Europe, Kapellbrucke is a romantic footbridge that spans diagonally across the Reuss River in Lucerne. Along the interior on triangular frames unique paintings from as early as the 17th century line the roof of this famous bridge, which in English is also known as the Chapel Bridge.
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