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Top 10 Most Famous Bridges

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by George Cimurt. We always said we’d cross that bridge when we got there, and here we are. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 greatest bridges. For this list, we’re taking a look at some of the most renowned, beautiful, architecturally-ingenious, and record-breaking bridges of our modern times. Be sure to also check out our list of the Top 10 Must-Visit Cities Around the World. Special thanks to our users Miroljub Milisavljevic, ibriers 1, AjKarris88, cmoehrle, Daniel Fong, cianmojowatcher and mac121mr0 for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript

Top 10 Greatest Bridges


We always said we’d cross that bridge when we got there, and here we are. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 greatest bridges.

For this list, we’re taking a look at some of the most renowned, beautiful, architecturally ingenious, and record-breaking bridges of our times.

#10: Millau Viaduct
Millau, France

Standing at a whopping 1,125 feet, this French bridge is the tallest on the globe, with its tallest pier measuring higher than its neighbor, the Eiffel Tower! Brought into existence by the minds of Michel Virlogeux and Norman Foster, an engineer and architect respectively, this four-lane bridge opened in 2004 after construction that totaled almost 400 million euros. Spanning the valley of the River Tarn, it’s widely considered an engineering marvel and even won an award from the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering.

#9: Khaju Bridge
Isfahan, Iran

Built in the mid-1600s by Shah Abbas II, this gorgeous bridge that spans the Zayandeh River was also constructed to serve as a dam, which the Iranians still use to irrigate gardens along the river. Visitors to Isfahan will find that the richly decorated bridge provides some stunning vantage points from the central pavilions, historically used by the city’s monarchs. With two stories, 24 arches, and stone blocks that measure over 6 feet long in places, the bridge is considered by enthusiasts to be one of the most interesting in existence.

#8: Akashi Kaikyō Bridge
Awaji Island & Kobe, Japan

One of the world’s longest suspension bridges as well as one of the tallest, this famous bridge reaches from the city of Kobe over the Akashi Strait to Iwaya. Opened in 1998 after a construction cost of some 500 billion yen, it was built after harsh storms common to the hazardous waterway sunk several ferries, demonstrating the need for a safer method of transportation. This monstrous bridge spans some 6,500 feet and was constructed so sturdily that it has survived typhoons, severe sea currents, and even earthquakes.

#7: Chengyang Bridge
Sanjiang County, China

Completed in 1912, the Chengyang Birdge in Liuzhou near the village of Maan is perhaps the most impressive of the so-called “wind and rain” bridges created by a Chinese ethnic group known as the Dong. Constructed without the use of even a solitary nail, it is instead held together by dovetailed wood, or wood that is interlocked through V-shaped projections at the ends of the boards. In a region with many rivers and swamps, this 211-foot protected bridge makes it possible for people to cross on a daily basis.

#6: Ponte Vecchio
Florence, Italy

The only bridge in the culturally rich city of Florence to survive World War II, it is reported that Hitler himself commanded that the bridge not be harmed. Rebuilt in 1345 after a flood destroyed it almost completely, this medieval stone bridge has been sung about in famous operas and is known to tourists as a symbol of undying love. Consisting of several magnificent arches, since its construction it has had shops built along its length, where visitors can find businesses selling jewelry, souvenirs, and art.

#5: Brooklyn Bridge
New York, USA

One of the most famous bridges in the world, this hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge spans some 1,600 feet and, being one of the oldest bridges of its size in the country, is now considered a National Historic Landmark. First designed by John Augustus Roebling, this mighty connection between Brooklyn and Manhattan was opened to the public in May of 1883. Referred to in numerous songs and poems, it has also played a role in films like “Annie Hall,” “The Dark Knight Rises”, and “I Am Legend.”

#4: Rialto Bridge
Venice, Italy

The oldest of four bridges that today traverse the Grand Canal of Venice, this stone bridge was completed in 1591 after several major collapses, the last one being in 1524. At the time, architects like Vincenzo Scamozzi considered the construction to be a wasted effort and foretold another collapse, even after architect Antonio da Ponte submitted a winning design. Over 400 years later, it is still standing, and the 94-foot long pedestrian bridge is considered an engineering marvel and a highlight for tourists to the city.

#3: Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney, Australia

Known also by its nickname The Coathanger, this steel through arch bridge is actually one of the longest and widest in the world, carrying pedestrians, cyclists, trains, and cars. Opened in March of 1932 and praised for having kept many citizens employed during the Great Depression, it has seen many festivals and ceremonies, including the Sydney 2000 Olympics as well as the Bicentennial Australia Day celebrations. With steelwork that weighs in at around 53,000 tonnes, it is used daily by thousands who travel between the Sydney central business district and the North Shore.

#2: Tower Bridge
London, England

Completed in 1894 after 8 years of construction, this combination of a bascule and suspension bridge spans the River Thames and is one of the most visited monuments in Europe. Commonly mistaken for London Bridge, this symbol of London boasts a length of some 800 feet, and is crossed by around 40,000 people a day. Beginning in 2008, the bridge underwent a £4 million renovation that ended just in time for it to be featured as part of the celebration of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

- Tsing Ma Bridge
Hong Kong, China

- Charles Bridge
Prague, Czech Republic

- Great Belt Bridge
Zealand and Funen, Denmark

#1: Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco, USA

The most photographed bridge in the world and arguably one of the most beautiful, this internationally recognizable suspension bridge has been called one of the wonders of the modern world. Opened in 1937, it crosses the Golden Gate strait and since completion, has appeared in dozens of songs, books, and television shows. Appearing in countless movies as well, it’s been the setting of timeless classics, seen fierce battles, and been destroyed too many times to recall. In short, it is one of the most popular and enduring symbols of the United States.

Do you agree with our list? Which amazing bridges do you think should’ve made our list? For more educational top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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