Crossing bridges is a common occurrence, so you’d be forgiven for not giving it much thought. For the majority of us, it’s simply a part of our journey to and from work, or a commonplace sight within our home town. But for some, ‘commonplace’ certainly wasn’t on the cards when they designed their bridges — take a look at structure design software specialist Oasys’ picks for the most amazing bridges all across the globe:
1. Norway’s Da Vinci Bridge
Photograph by Egil Kvaleberg
The Da Vinci bridge in Norway was intended to have a very different life. This bridge was originally designed nearly 500 years ago by Leonardo da Vinci, with the intention of being built across the Golden Horn in Istanbul. The original drawing had a single span of 240 metres, but the project did not go ahead as it was believed that such a design was not feasible.
The bridge’s construction in Norway was the first major engineering feat to be achieved from a da Vinci drawing. The bridge has just three arches to support the structure. Though the Norwegian bridge is a smaller version of the original plans, it shows that the design works — one arch under the bridge, and two arches either side leaning inwards to spread the weight.
2. Germany’s Rakotzbrücke (Devil’s Bridge)
Photograph by A. Landgraf
This bridge forms a complete circle when viewed alongside its own reflection in the water. The bridge is said to have been commissioned by a knight in 1860. But the rocks and stones used for its creation are jagged and spikey, so it was dangerous to cross. According to Earth Trekkers, there were other Devil’s Bridges built in the past as a masonry challenge. The idea was that only Satan himself could help with a difficult build such as these bridges, and the first human who crossed the completed bridge would pay for the Devil’s helping hand by giving up his soul.
The bridge is now off-limits to would-be crossers, for reasons of preservation (for the bridge, not souls). But it is still an oddly beautiful sight to behold!
3. India’s Living Roots Bridges
Photograph by Arshiya Urveeja Bose
Living roots bridges are a fantastic display that patience pays off! These beautifully natural bridges were formed by guiding rubber tree roots with hollow canes so that they would grow outwards and meet from either side of a stream. It would take years to reach the opposite bank, but the hard work paid off as these Living Roots bridges can support the weight of a human. They were originally made by the Khasi tribe, who realised the bamboo bridges they were building would collapse or rot after a monsoon or heavy storm.
4. Vietnam’s Dragon Bridge
Photograph by Ehrin Macksey / Noi Pictures
As far as impressive sights go, it’s hard to top the Dragon Bridge in Da Nang, Vietnam. The bridge is the result of an international competition by the Da Nang People’s Committee in order to improve travel in the city. The bridge has six lanes for vehicles, two lanes for pedestrians, and 2,500 LED lights. Incredibly, the Dragon Bridge is fully capable of breathing fire too. In fact, the bridge can spout water or fire, and this display is often used for special occasions in the city.
5. UK’s The Rolling Bridge
Photograph by Loz Pycock
It might not cover as much distance as others on this list, but it certainly maintains a sense of style. Created by Heatherwick Studios, the Rolling Bridge is a steel bridge that covers an inlet in London. What makes this bridge so unique is that it can tidy itself away! When needed, this bridge curls up into an octogen shape to stand on one side of the canal until a boat passes. The bridge also curls up every day at noon, if you want to see it in action!