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10 Must-See Pedestrian Bridges - Explore

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Sierra Daily

11/27/2012

10 Must-See Pedestrian Bridges

Malaysia Sky BridgeThe old adage goes that you shouldn't burn bridges. And we here at Sierra agree. Instead, you should visit them.

Bridges symbolize connection -- they directly join people, places, and things that would otherwise remain isolated. So in in this post, we're honoring 10 pedestrian bridges from around the globe that are either known for their majestically outrageous architecture or historical significance. We included  famous bridges as well as relatively unknown pathways.

We encourage you to visit the bridges in your region and not only cross over into new territory, but also build bridges toward new cultures, sights, sounds, and adventures. 

Henderson Waves, Singapore 

Located 118 feet above Henderson Road in Singapore is a the Henderson Waves Bridge, aptly named for its design. The bridge was built to couple the hills of Mount Faber and Telok Blangah. Its unique shape consists of several pieces of undulating curved steel, which form alcoves that serve as sheltered seating areas within. The waves are lit with LED lights from 7:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. every evening, adorning the bridge with a luminescent glow that also enhances the city's skyline.

Khaju Bridge, Iran

Khaju Bridge
In Isfahan, Iran, the Khaju Bridge was built around 1650 and still stands today. At 105 meters long, 14 meters wide, and formed by 23 beautiful arches, Khaju brings together the Khaju quarter on the north bank to the Zoroastrian quarter across the Zayendeh River. This bridge is not only magnificent in structure, but also regulates water. The downstream side is formulated so that it is a sequence of steps that carry water to a lower level. It offers beautiful sights of Isfahan and does not require any type of cable support due to its design.

Malaysia Sky Bridge, Malaysia

Malaysia Sky Bridge
Whoa. If you thought walking on air was impossible, think again! On an island in the Langkawi archipelago, the Sky Bridge wraps around a mountain, is 700 meters above sea level, and is constructed from one column and cables. On either end are triangular platforms that enable fantastic views from different angles of the Andaman Sea and Tarutao Island. And just in case you aren't weary enough of heights, this bridge tends to be a little shaky in the middle, so have heart -- and step carefully.

Golden Gate Bridge, California

Golden Gate Bridge
Of course you knew you'd see this one in our list. Located at the northern tip of San Francisco, this 8,981 feet pedestrian and vehicular suspension bridge received its name from the strait that it crosses: the Golden Gate Strait, otherwise known as the entrance to the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. The bridge not only marks the meeting of two bodies of water, but also connects the city of San Francisco to Marin County. Today, this iconic bridge is one of the most highly photographed and recognized landmarks in the world. Biking tours across the bridge are also available.

Magdeburg Water Bridge, Germany

Nope. Your eyes don't deceive you. It's a bridge of water on top of water. Connecting the Elbe-Havel Canal to the Mittellandkanal while crossing over the Elbe River, the Magdeburg is the longest navigable aqueduct in the world, spanning 3,012 ft. long. While there are pedestrian sidewalks on either side of the bridge, its mid-section is filled with water that floats barges transporting cargo. The depth of this water ensures that barge fuel is not wasted when they sometimes get stuck in low-level rivers.

Chengyang Bridge, China

Wind and Rain Bridge
Translated as "the Bridge of Wind and Rain," this famous structure in the Dong Minority Region was built above the Linxi River of Sanjiang County. Made from wood and stones, the builders did not utilize any nails or rivets; pretty impressive considering the fact that it was built in 1916 and remains sturdy and strong today. The design's beauty resides in the toweresque kiosks that are reminiscent of flapping bird wings. Visit this bridge and enjoy the pastoral views, lifestyle, and traditions of the Dong people. You'll be in awe of the gorgeous architecture while appreciating life's simplicities. 

Gateshead Millennium Bridge, England

Gateshead Millennium Bridge
You know those tilting boat rides at the carnival that sway from side to side and are, well, absolutely terrifying? Don't worry. The Gateshead isn't quite like that -- but it does tilt! In fact, it's sometimes referred to as the "Winking or Blinking Eye Bridge" due to its unique tilting structure. As a pedestrian and cyclist bridge only, it spans the River Tyne in England between Gateshead's Quays on the south bank and Quayside of Newcastle upon Tyne along the north bank. Check it out for yourself and see why this bridge is one that is both unforgettable and nerve-wracking.

Ponte Vecchio, Italy

Ponte Vecchio Bridge
Also known as the "Old Bridge," this aptly named structure was built around 996, was destroyed twice by floods, rebuilt twice, and still stands today. It crosses the Arno River in Florence, Italy, and is most notably recognized for its history and cultural significance. Built with shops alongside as well as inside the bridge, as was common during the time of its construction, Ponte Vecchio immerses you in the past as its hosts of merchants transport you into the Italian lifestyle of old. 

Royal Gorge Bridge, Colorado

Royal Gorge Bridge
This bridge is truly unlike any other you'll ever cross. The bridge was built to look over the massive gorge beneath -- one that took over 3 million years to form and first began when a trickle of water began to carve the canyon out of granite bedrock. Often referred to as the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas River, the bridge hangs 956 feet high and is a quarter mile in length as it crosses from one side of the canyon to the other. 

Sunken Pedestrian Bridge, Netherlands

Ever wonder what it would feel like to part the waters in the same way that Moses did? Well, wonder no more. The Netherlands has that part of your curiosity covered. The bridge was created to allow visitors to see the 17th Century Dutch fort that was once, until now, protected by a moat in order to avoid invasion by France and Spain. The bridge is made from materials that are sustainable, such as Accsys Technologies Accoya wood. Experience this exclusive walkway that combines Netherland and biblical history that will literally submerge you in awesomeness. 

 --images by istock//kenishirotie, fcarruci, sosobuzuk, derekc2002, bessefr, leezsnow, atbaei

Christine Nguyen is an editorial intern at Sierra magazine. She enjoys eating cheesecake, any type of outdoor activity, and teaching her 2nd graders about what it means to be a good human being.

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