Famous Bridges

Famous Bridges – Architectural and Cultural Landmarks

There are many famous bridges in the world. From famous suspension bridges to famous beam bridges, we will be examining ten such bridges today! These bridges all serve different functions, as they are not all merely for crossing over bodies of water or large chasms. Keep reading to learn more about these famous bridges and what makes them so important and famous.



10 of the Most Famous Bridges in the World

There are many different famous bridges in this world, and these bridges are comprised of a variety of different types. There are famous beam bridges, suspension bridges, footbridges, and many other varieties out there in the wide world. However, today we are only going to be examining ten of these immensely famous bridges.

So, without further ado, let’s have a look at some of the most famous bridges in the world.


Ponte Vecchio (1345) in Florence

ArchitectNeri di Fioravante (Unknown – 1374) and Taddeo Gaddi (1290 – 1366)
Date Constructed1345
Length32 m (or 105 ft)
LocationFlorence, Italy

The Ponte Vecchio has a special place in Florence because it is the only bridge of its kind to have survived the many artillery onslaughts of the Second World War. This is a medieval bridge that may have once served as an immensely important crossing point for the population, but today has a bit of a different overall purpose. The bridge has become famous, in contemporary times, as a crossing point between some of the biggest tourist areas in the city, but also because of the bridge’s fame in and of itself.

The bridge has become famous as a tourist destination in its own right, and it has done so by being more than just a standard bridge, but also being a commercial district.

The bridge itself hosts several businesses, and it has done this since ancient times. Some of the earliest businesses that ran along this bridge included commercial ventures such as tanneries and butcheries, but in the modern day, the businesses that are present on the structure are slightly more tourism-oriented. You can find souvenir shops, art galleries, and jewelers there now.

The Most Famous BridgesPonte Vecchio Bridge (1345) in Florence, Italy; MacieklewCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The bridge, in contemporary times, has been closed off to vehicular traffic because it has served as a commercial region for a very long time. So, this is one of the most popular bridges in an already popular city. This famous bridge is a must-see for those visiting this immensely historical city.


Kapellbrücke (Around 1360) in Lucerne

Date ConstructedAround 1360
Length204.7 m (or 672 ft)
LocationLucerne, Switzerland

The Kapellbrücke, which translates to “Chapel Bridge” in English, runs across the river Reuss. It is a footbridge so don’t expect any cars to travel along this famous Swiss bridge. One of the most interesting things about this bridge is that it is actually covered in wood. This makes it the oldest surviving wood-covered bridge in the world. Thanks to its place as a wood-covered bridge, it has also needed to be restored over the centuries.

This famous bridge suffered several setbacks over the centuries, most notably a 1993 fire that absolutely ravaged the bridge and destroyed many of the famous paintings that adorned the interior of this bridge.

This is one of the other notable aspects of the Kapellbrücke, it is covered in a variety of interior paintings that date back through the centuries to at least the 17th century at some points. The city in which this bridge can be found, Lucerne, is actually already the location of several famous bridges of this variety.

Famous Bridge ExamplesKapellbrücke (Around 1360) in Lucerne; Simon Koopmann, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Kapellbrücke is simply the most famous of them all, but they all feature the kind of interior painted decoration as every other one. In total, these bridges once contained 158 paintings, and of those 158, 147 still existed before the 1993 fire. However, after the fire, those paintings were left decimated and today we only have 47 of them left. This serves as a good reminder that what we construct is immensely fragile and needs to be protected to the best of our abilities.


Khaju Bridge (Around 1650) in Isfahan

Date ConstructedAround 1650
Length137 m (or 449 ft)
LocationIsfahan, Iran

The Khaju Bridge is a stunning bridge in Iran that crosses the Zayanderud River, which is the largest river of its kind in the Iranian Plateau. This bridge is not only an important crossing point along the river but also served throughout its existence as an important location and a building in its own right. This is not simply a bridge that crosses a body of water, but rather a meeting place for many. The bridge/building is made up of 23 arches that run along its form, and, as is common in much of Islamic architecture, this famous bridge is resplendently decorated in a variety of tiled and mosaic designs.

What Are the Most Popular BridgesKhaju Bridge (Around 1650) in Isfahan; Gire 3pich2005 with special thanks to Hossein Majidi, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

This bridge serves as a lot more than only a bridge and meeting place though, it is also important for agricultural and garden irrigation in the region. The Khaju Bridge contains sluice gates below many of the arches, and these sluice gates allow for the water level to be raised on one side of the river. This blocking of the water allows for the irrigation of many areas around the bridge. So, not only does this gorgeous example of one of the most famous bridges in the world serve as a crossing point and as a building, but also as an important asset to the city’s water as a whole.


Brooklyn Bridge (1869 – 1883) in New York City

ArchitectJohn A. Roebling (1806 – 1869)
Date Constructed1869 – 1883
Length1,833.7 m (or 6,016 ft)
LocationNew York City, United States

The Brooklyn Bridge is a bridge that can be found in New York City, and it is one of the most famous suspension bridges in the world. This bridge, as the name suggests. The bridge itself is a famous sight and it spans the breadth of the East River so that a connection between Manhattan and Brooklyn can be sustained. When it opened, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, but it has since been replaced several times over. No one can stay on top forever. The Brooklyn Bridge once served as one of the earliest examples of this particular type of steel-wire suspension bridge, and it uses a hybrid design in which there are vertical as well as suspender cables that run along the length of the structure.

Most Famous Beam BridgeBrooklyn Bridge (1883) in New York City, United States; Martin St-Amant (S23678)CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The bridge is also notable for its Neo-Gothic towers with the kinds of pointed arches that are particularly well-known within this particular architectural style. This famous bridge is suspended high above the water so that ships can pass underneath it. This allows this structure to facilitate trade in and out of the city as a whole. This is one of the most famous bridges in the United States, and it has served its purpose for well over a century and will continue to do so even further into the future.


Tower Bridge (1886 – 1894) in London

ArchitectHorace Jones (1819 – 1887)
Date Constructed1886 – 1894
Length240 m (or 800 ft)
LocationLondon, United Kingdom

Tower Bridge is one of the most, if not the most, famous bridge in the United Kingdom. This bridge is located in London, and it crosses the River Thames. The original purpose of this bridge was to connect the central London district to the East End of the city, and this was needed because the East End had become a far more important commercial district at the time.

The bridge is not one of the longest in the world at only 240 m (or 800 ft), but it is incredibly well-known because of the two famous towers that are situated across the river.

These two towers have led to Tower Bridge becoming one of the most famous London landmarks. The bridge’s existence as an important London destination has made it into a tourist destination too, and the interior of these towers can be visited as part of the tourist package, including a look at the Victorian-era engines within the towers.

Most Famous Suspension BridgeLondon Tower Bridge (1894) in London, United Kingdom; © User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons

Furthermore, Tower Bridge is able to halt traffic and raise along the center to allow ships to pass underneath, and it can raise in this fashion within five minutes. This allows the bridge to never get in the way of commercial shipping vessels that move through the River Thames. All of which has contributed to Tower Bridge’s existence as one of the most famous bridges in the world.


Chengyang Bridge (1912) in Guangxi

Date Constructed1912
Length64.4 m (or 211 ft)
LocationGuangxi, China

The Chengyang Bridge is a bridge that can be found in Sanjiang County in China, and one of the most fascinating things about this famous structure is that it isn’t solely a bridge. Instead, the structure combines a corridor, pavilion, and veranda design with a bridge to produce a far larger overall structure. The bridge, as a whole, is 64.4 m (or 211 ft) long and is comprised of two platforms on either side of the river and it makes use of three floors, 3 spans and piers, 5 pavilions, and 19 verandas. The lower portions are comprised of stone while the upper portions are predominantly made of wood, while the roof makes use of a tiled design as is common in traditional Chinese architecture.

Most Popular BridgesChengyang Bridge (1912) in Guangxi; Zhangzhugang, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The main purpose of this bridge structure in China is as a means of connecting the two most populous villages in Chengyang with one another. The bridge has become one of the most popular bridges in the country partially thanks to the work of Guo Murou, a famous Chinese author, who adored the bridge when he first saw it and decided to write about it.


Royal Gorge Bridge (1929) in Cañon City

ArchitectGeorge E. Cole (20th century)
Date Constructed1929
Length384 m (or 1,260 ft)
LocationCañon City, Colorado, United States

The Royal Gorge Bridge was once the highest bridge in the world at 291 m (or 955 ft) from the river to the deck, and it maintained this world record from its construction in 1929 until 2001 when it was eventually beaten out by Liuguanghe Bridge in China. Regardless of losing the world record, as it is still the tallest bridge in the United States, this bridge still serves as a major tourist attraction within Colorado as it can be found in the middle of the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, which is a large amusement park in the region.

The bridge extends to a total length of 384 m (or 1,260 ft) and while the base of the structure is made of steel, wooden planks are used along the length of the structure (and there are 1292 such planks of wood along this famous bridge).

When the bridge was first constructed, it was built comparatively quickly over the course of only six months, and since shortly after its construction, additional attractions were added to the site. The bridge now operates alongside a funicular, miniature railroad, aerial tram, and a skycoaster that allows participants to be swung into the gorge. The whole park was also the victim of a wildfire that led to the destruction of many of the buildings in the area, but they have since been rebuilt, and new attractions were also added, such as a zipline and gondola. 

Most Famous Popular BridgesRoyal Gorge Bridge (1929) in Colorado, United States; HustvedtCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Golden Gate Bridge (1933 – 1937) in San Francisco

ArchitectIrving Morrow (1884 – 1952)
Date Constructed1933 – 1937
Length2,737.1 m (or 8,980 ft)
LocationSan Francisco, California

The Golden Gate Bridge is quite possibly the most famous suspension bridge in the world and it has become an absolute icon of San Francisco. The Golden Gate Bridge is to a city like San Francisco what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. It has become so closely associated with the famous seaside city that they can no longer be separated from one another. The actual purpose of this bridge is to connect the city to Marin County and thereby provide another way to leave the city. The bridge is utterly massive in its overall length at a total of one mile (or 1.6 km), and its height of 227 m (or 746 ft) is also significant.

Where Are the Famous Bridges LocatedGolden Gate Bridge (1937) in California, United States; Rich Niewiroski Jr.CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

It is perched high above the Pacific Ocean that rages below it and it has even been considered, by the American Society of Civil Engineers, to be worthy of the title of a Wonder of the Modern World. There had long been a desire to connect the city to Marin County, but it was only in the 1930s that any plans truly began to surface, and by 1937, the bridge had been opened to the public. The bridge has been in use ever since, and at the time of its construction, it held two records for bridge length. On one hand, it was the longest bridge in the world until 1964. On the other hand, it was the tallest suspension bridge in the world until 1998.


Akashi Kaikyo Bridge (1988 – 1998) in Kobe

ArchitectSatoshi Kashima (20th century)
Date Constructed1988 – 1998
Length3,911 m (or 12,831 ft)
LocationKobe, Japan

The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is another of the most famous suspension bridges in the world. In this particular case, it was also once the longest suspension bridge at 1,991 m (or 6,532 ft) across the central bridge span. It held this world record ever since its construction came to an end in 1998 until 2022 when it was replaced by the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge in Turkey, which is more than double the length. This means that the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is currently the second-longest such bridge.

The bridge is comprised of four substructures.

There are two piers that are located under the water and two anchorages on land, and the towers are situated in an area where there are incredibly strong tidal currents. The structure, therefore, needed to be built to withstand this kind of battering in the long term.

Popular BridgesAkashi-Kaikyo Bridge (1998) in Awaji, Japan; Pinqui, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The central bridge span is longer than the two secondary spans, but together, the bridge is a total of 3,911 m (or 12,831 ft) in length, but there are those who may prefer to only consider the length of the central span. Either way, this famous suspension bridge is one of the longest in the world, and its incredible length is a sight to behold.


Great Belt Bridge (1991 – 1998) in the Great Belt

ArchitectCOWI, Ramboll, and Dissing+Weitling
Date Constructed1991 – 1998
Length18 km (or 11 mi)
LocationGreat Belt, Denmark

The Great Belt Bridge is a fixed link, or bridge made up of multiple components that connect two distant areas with one another across an ocean, and it is comprised of a suspension bridge, a railway tunnel, and a box-girder bridge. The bridge connects Zealand (not to be confused with New Zealand) and the small island of Sprogø.

The purpose of the bridge is to connect these two distant locations with one another, and because of this combined approach with the bridge’s design, it is able to be far longer than most bridges are able to achieve.

The Great Belt Bridge is 18 km (or 11 mi) in length, and upon its construction, it allowed for the removal of the ferry service that had existed at the time to transport people between these two locations. In the past, it had taken an hour to cross the distance by ferry, but because of the bridge, travelers are able to complete the journey in about ten minutes.

Examples of Famous BridgesGreat Belt Bridge (1991 – 1998) in the Great Belt; Henrik Sendelbach, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This is one of the longest bridges in the world, but there can be arguments about its exact place as a bridge structure because of the way in which it uses multiple distinct styles throughout its construction to allow for far greater length. Regardless of this, it is a massive structure that spans across part of an ocean, and that alone should cause this famous bridge to be quite an awe-inspiring sight.


We have come to the end of our discussion about famous bridges. We have examined ten of the most famous bridges in the world, but there are many more bridges out there to learn about. There are so many popular bridges in the world that it would be impossible to discuss them all, but you can always learn about them in your own time. All that’s left to say is that we wish you a great day/week/month ahead!




Frequently Asked Questions


What Is the Most Famous Bridge in the World?

The most famous bridge in the world is probably also the most famous suspension bridge, and that is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. This famous and immensely lengthy bridge stretches a mile, or 1.6 km, and carries cars and bicycles across its lengthy expanse every single day. This is probably the most famous bridge in the world because it has become a symbol for the city of San Francisco, which is one of the most famous cities in the United States, and it has been featured in numerous pieces of popular media.


What Is the Longest Bridge in the World?

The longest bridge in the world is the Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge. This bridge is massively long because unlike many of the other bridges that connect two areas over a body of water or something similar, this bridge snakes its way through a lengthy region. The bridge is 164.5 km (or 102.4 mi) long. This Chinese bridge is therefore the longest bridge in the world by a wide margin.


What Is the Highest Bridge in the World?

The highest bridge in the world is the Duge Bridge. This Chinese bridge crosses the Peipan River and connects the two Chinese provinces of Guizhou and Yunnan together. It does so by standing 565 m (or 1,854 ft) above the aforementioned river. This four-lane bridge is also a rather lengthy one, and it sits at a length of 1,340 m (or 4,400 ft). This means that it is both an incredibly long and tall structure.


Cite this Article

Justin, van Huyssteen, “Famous Bridges – Architectural and Cultural Landmarks.” artfilemagazine – Your Online Art Source. November 1, 2023. URL: https://artfilemagazine.com/famous-bridges/

van Huyssteen, J. (2023, 1 November). Famous Bridges – Architectural and Cultural Landmarks. artfilemagazine – Your Online Art Source. https://artfilemagazine.com/famous-bridges/

van Huyssteen, Justin. “Famous Bridges – Architectural and Cultural Landmarks.” artfilemagazine – Your Online Art Source, November 1, 2023. https://artfilemagazine.com/famous-bridges/.

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