Not all bridges were built to provide just convenience and facilitate transportation. Dubbed "The Jewels of Architecture," the following bridges have become landmarks in their own right. No wonder why millions of visitors flock to explore them every year.
Contrary to common belief, though, these bridges aren't built hundreds of feet above the ground level only to serve their purpose and get us across some river. Well, this sure is an important detail to remember; however, some of these oddly beautiful bridges happen to be significant gathering points for millions of tourists year-round.
Ever since the dawn of civilization, man has been trying hard to create such out-of-the-ordinary and gravity-defying structures, like the ones you'll read about down below.
With their spectacular architecture, legendary background and award-winning designs, the existence of these bridges itself is a record-breaking achievement.
From the mind-boggling architecture of the Khaju Bridge to the spine-chilling aura of the Chinese bridges, the following examples are, indeed, worth a look. Now get ready to have your mind blown away by the grandeur and massiveness of the world's most scenic and iconic bridges you've ever seen.
25 Khaju Bridge, Isfahan, Iran
Khaju Bridge in Iran is one of the purest examples and representations of the authentic Persian architecture.
Located in the Iranian province of Isfahan, this stunning bridge performs numerous functions. On the one hand, the country's most famous and impressive bridge serves as a dam while, on the other, connects the banks of the Zayandeh river.
This oddly beautiful bridge is also lined with lots of pavilions and steps over the water. Well, this sure sounds like a fantastic way to beat the heat and boredom, doesn't it?
24 Bixby Creek Bridge, California
Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur is not at all a coincidence on this list. In fact, the concrete span is often referred to as one of the highest and most spectacular bridges of its kind. This Californian beauty virtually soars 260 ft above the canyon's picturesque cliffs. Indeed, it hardly takes more than a single look to realize that the construction of Bixby Creek Bridge wasn't exactly a piece of cake. Paradoxically, the concrete span was fully completed in 1932 while the road was still under construction.
23 Tower Bridge, London, UK
Tower Bridge is, without a doubt, one of London's most impressive sights to see. This magnificent bridge was constructed about a century ago over the beautiful river of Thames.
Initially, its primary purpose was to ease the road traffic without hindering the river access to the docks, of course. Although it's been decades since the construction of Tower Bridge, it still is considered one of the world's greatest engineering marvels. As for its moveable roadways which lift up for passing ships only, Tower Bridge certainly fills Londoners with pride and satisfaction.
22 Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia
Sydney Harbour Bridge, or also known as "The Coathanger”, has long been famous for its beautiful steel arch bridge, which was later recognized as an international symbol. The arch span of the bridge measures about 503 m or 1650 ft, while the total length goes beyond 1149 m or 3777 ft. As impressive as it seems to be, Sydney's most iconic bridge boasts an incredible arch-based architecture that welcomes pedestrian traffic from the city's central business district to the North Shore.
21 Ponte Di Rialto, Venice
From its high-class restaurants and cozy cafes to its magnificent buildings and bridges, Italy never disappoints its guests. Although this one was fully completed in only three years, Rialto Bridge is now a permanent replacement for the old wooden bridges which had spanned the Venice's Grand Canal since the 12th century. Pointe di Rialto was named after the Italian architect, Antoni da Ponte, who competed against other greats from that time to get his hands on the contract that would allow him to built this beautiful bridge.
20 Brooklyn Bridge, NYC, USA
Unlike Venice's picturesque bridges, matching Italy's colorful character as well, New York's bridge serves to connect the boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan. The construction of the city's suspension bridge began back in 1869; however, it took another fourteen years to open. Today, Brooklyn Bridge sure is one of the city's most charming attractions, and the best part of it all is that it's totally free to explore. The bridge itself boasts a perfectly-maintained pedestrian walkway that invites all cyclists and walkers on a leisurely stroll through the city's best locations.
19 Millau Viaduct, France
This futuristic bridge is a marvelous project crafted by the French engineer, Michel Virlogeux. For the creation of this daring bridge, Michel reached out to the British architect, Norman Foster, who practically helped him improve this idea.
As part of the French A75-A71 Freeway, Millau Viaduct is technically the highest bridge in the world, soaring 890 ft over the Tarn River. When compared to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, this majestic cable-stayed road bridge is certainly much higher.
18 Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
Another beautiful Italian bridge we've listed here is this marvelous Medieval-inspired arch bridge in Florence. This spectacular bridge, known as Ponte Vecchio, spans the Italian Arno river right at its narrowest point. Its medieval roots speak volumes about the time and age of its construction. Ponte Vecchio was first built during Roman times, but after a devastating flood that nearly destroyed it, the bridge had to bring its grandeur back. When the World War II broke out, Ponte Vecchio was again on the brink of collapsing; but somehow it still managed to stand against the fleeing Germans at the time.
17 Charles Bridge, Prague
This medieval stone bridge rests on a total of 16 arches, each shielded by ice guards. This stone bridge, lined with baroque-style sculptures and statues, crosses the local Vltava river while connecting the country's Old Town and its Mala Strana district.
When it comes to its measurement, Charles Bridge is about 621 m long and almost 10 m wide. As a symbol of Prague's Old town and Mala Strana district, Charles Bridge is a favorite tourist spot that offers panoramic views of the Prague Castle.
16 Golden Gate Bridge, San Fransisco
The legendary Golden Bridge in San Francisco truly looks like a gate to a place of unforgettable memories and experiences. As iconic as it is, Golden Bridge spans the channel between the city's bay and the vast Pacific Ocean. Its grand opening was back in 1937 as the bridge itself was one of the longest and most spectacular ones until 1964.
Built at the height of 1,300 m (or over 4,200 ft), this suspension bridge was recently retrofitted to withstand even the most devastating earthquake. Apart from that, the Golden Bridge is quite an accessible location for cyclists, pedestrians as it provides walkways and cycling paths.
15 Gateshead Millennium Bridge, England
Another surreal bridge that's just as beautiful as those in the movies is the famous Gateshead Millennium Bridge in England.
Best known for its tilting design and structure, Gateshead Millennium Bridge is the world's first and only bridge of its kind. Another lesser-known fact about it concerns the illusion of an eye that's winking at you. This beautiful and unique crossing of the Tyne River is also perfect for joggers, pedestrians, and bikers, all equally fascinated by its innovative design.
14 Tsing Ma Bridge, Hong Kong, China
When talking about modern bridges with futuristic designs, China is also home to some of the largest ones that can carry both road and rail traffic. Tsing Ma Bridge is, indeed, Hong Kong's pride that's also labeled as one of the largest suspension bridges across the globe. As such, the impressive Tsing Ma Bridge was subjected to a series of wind tunnel testing, used as a preventative measure against typhoons. The entire architectural plan of this breathtaking bridge was estimated to cost around $920 M.
13 Akashi-Kaikyo, Japan
Best known as the Pearl Bridge, Akashi-Kaikyo currently holds a reputation of one of the longest suspension bridges around the globe, with a total span of almost 2,000 meters. By the way, the second longest one happens to be another fabulous Chinese bridge.
In fact, Pearl Bridge has somehow managed to keep its glory high since the 90s. Even to this date, the Akashi-Kaikyo suspension bridge is considered a futuristic engineering feat which also survived the thoroughly destructive Kobe Earthquake that hit the Japanese town in 1995.
12 Chapel Bridge, Switzerland
Situated in the charming town of Lucerne, this outstanding bridge is, in fact, one of the oldest ones listed today. This legendary Swiss bridge was built somewhere in the 13th century, and it crosses over the Reuss river almost diagonally.
Steeped in rich history, Chapel Bridge is the purest example of how majestic even the wooden covered bridges can be. The inside of the Swiss Chapel Bridge is embellished with beautiful paintings stretching as far back as the 17th century. As such, Chapel Bridge is easily one of the most photographed sights and attractions in Lucerne, Switzerland.
11 Chengyang Bridge, China
Also known as "The Wind & Rain Bridge", Chengyang may not have been designed by skillful designers and architects; however, it doesn't mean that it lacks the excellence of any of the previous bridges.
Nestled between rice fields and mountains, this beautiful Chinese bridge features numerous pagoda structures, all lined with pavilions and porches. Another exciting detail about Chengyang Bridge lies in its quite traditional, yet impressive architecture that doesn't rely on nails for support but on a few fantastic architectural tricks.
10 Rolling Bridge, England
The world-recognized Rolling Bridge in England is certainly not something that should be left unmentioned. This curious bridge, located in London's Paddington Basin area, draws attention with its distinctive way of revealing itself as a bridge. Every Friday, England's Rolling Bridge rolls out its octagonal shape and stays like this for a few hours before it curls itself back up into its authentic, original form. And if by any chance you wonder how in this world this is possible, the bridge relies on unique hydraulics designed by Thomas H. that allows such an entertainment.
9 Langkawi Sky Bridge, Malaysia
There's no doubt that all of these bridges are quite spectacular with their unique designs and shapes; however, none of them can be accessed via cable car. This impressive, mind-boggling bridge soars 2,300 ft above sea level - and that's nothing compared to what comes next.
This Malaysian engineering feat is a 410ft-long arched pedestrian bridge, which is perfect for visitors, and it sits high above Gunung Matchincang. Get there to enjoy heavenly views of the Malaysian rainforests and mountains.
8 Stari Most, Bosnia
Almost literally translated as an "Ancient Bridge" in English, this beautiful bridge dates as far back as the 15th century. As one of the oldest ones in Europe and around the world, Stari Most was on the brink of collapsing after the Bosnian war broke out in 1993. A few decades later, Stari Most Bridge was rebuilt as more than $13 M got funneled into the project. It's been years and decades since its reconstruction, but this enchanting bridge has managed to maintain its authentic appearance. Even to this date, The Old Bridge aka Stari Most is still as impressive as it was back in the day.
7 Octavio Frias De Oliveira Bridge, Brazil
No family vacation in Brazil is complete without a photo of this spectacular bridge, located in Sao Paulo. While many of the other bridges boast a traditional, almost Medieval-inspired design, this one in Sao Paulo, Brazil, is quite a proper reflection of our modern and technology-driven world. This super futuristic bridge was opened in 2008 and features a unique shape right in the middle of the structure.
The construction of Octavio Frias De Oliveira Bridge took five years as it engaged over 400 workers to build it. This unusual and oddly beautiful bridge is now one of Brazil's best free attractions, and it's certainly worth the visit.
6 Henderson Waves Bridge, Singapore
You may have already explored a whole lot of unique, stunning places around the world, but we're sure that you've haven't seen anything like this.
This superb bridge in Singapore is designed to resemble waves, which is, of course, easily noticeable. This extraordinary bridge, made of steel and timber, also connects two of the country's most beautiful parks, namely the wild Mount Faber Park, and the picturesque Telok Blangah Hill Park.
With its artistic design and sight-seeing areas, Henderson Waves has just earned a top place on today's list of the world's best bridges.