We all know the main function of a bridge. But sometimes a piece of architectural brilliance transforms an everyday sight into something that’s more than just practical.
Whether by incorporating a unique design, a quirky theme or creating a public viewpoint, some bridges can become works of art. Here are just a few to look out for around the world.
Dragon Bridge, Da Nang
The Dragon Bridge is known for its amazing fire-breathing, golden dragon covered in lights. So, if you’re a first-time visitor to Vietnam, the evening show should definitely be on your to-do List. This magnificent, 666-metre-long walkway stretches over the Han River and offers a unique performance each evening. At 9pm, you’ll see the colourful LED lights reflect in the water and feel the heat from the fire exploding out of the dragon’s mouth.
After two long years of manufacturing, it finally opened in 2013 to commemorate the 38th anniversary of Da Nang City’s liberation. It holds six different lanes of traffic, providing direct routes to My Khe Beach and Non Nuoc Beach.
This extravagant glass and steel construction was designed by American artist Vito Acconci in 2003, after Graz, in Austria, was appointed the European City of Culture. It was also built to make the rivera central part of the city once again, as it had been polluted by sewage water and industrial waste.
This construction works as both a bridge connecting the city to the river, as well as a mini island holding a café and amphitheatre. The curved design is said to resemble a seashell and the seats are situated around the inner rim to allow visitors to enjoy various events. Neon lights also help to evoke the modernisation the city wanted to emit.
Henderson Waves, Singapore
The lush, green jungle in Singapore is broken up by the modern twisted walkway, Henderson Waves, which got its name from its wave-like elements. It was built in 2008, 36 metres above ground level, making it the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore.
The balau wood slats were constructed into a curved shape up the side of the bridge, meaning it has a wave-like affect to it. This provides shelter for hikers and allows them to sit down and take in the beautiful views of the exotic flora and fauna. We recommend coming to visit during dusk to see it illuminated by LED lights, creating a real spectacle you won’t want to miss.
Python Bridge, Amsterdam
The Python Bridge can be found in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands,along with many other unusual walkways. However, this one stands out because of its snake-like shape. It curves up and down like a python and displays a glorious, scarlet colour. It opened in 2001 and connects Borneo Island to the Sporenburg Peninsula, so it can be found in the heart of the city.
The juxtaposition between this modern bridge and its nearby historical monuments helps to emphasise its contemporary design. It was constructed out of high-strength steel so it could hold its curved shape, as well as the many curious tourists who visit from far and wide. Many excursion programs include this work of art, so keep an eye out for it.
Langkawi Sky Bridge, Langkawi
Built in 2004, on top of the Gunung Mat Cincang in Malaysia,the Langkawi Sky Bridge is the longest free span and curved bridge in the world.This suspended walkway is accessible via the Top Station and can only accommodate up to 250 people at one time. An 82-metre-tall pylon holds it up 100 metres from the ground, so if you’re afraid of heights, this one might not be for you.However, the magnificent views of the nearby jungle and mountain are absolutely breathtaking.
During its construction, many factors had to be taken into account, including balancing it from a single point, the load distribution and overall weight management. Once it was built, a helicopter had to lift it up to its optimal point before further construction could take place.
If, after reading this blog post, you wish to book a trip to one of these stunning countries, call us on 0800 021 3237 or contact us via our website. Alternatively, come in and visit our Woodbridge or Ipswich travel agents to speak to a member of the team.