Five of the World’s Best Bridges

Five of the World’s Best Bridges france

Five of the World’s Best Bridges

by Matt Callard

Nothing combines beauty with ultimate functionality quite like a bridge. And whether it’s a rickety wooden structure crossing a burbling brook, or a steel giant striding across a ship lane, there is nothing in architecture that comes close to the romance, the spectacle and the sheer engineering wonder of bridges.

For time immemorial humans have gazed over ravines, across torrential rivers, over unpassable terrain and wondered if the grass really is greener on the other side. So when bridges are built, no matter how big or small, it’s an achievement of connectivity – another knot in the patchwork of our own humanity and another victory for friendship and the joining of land, people and resources.

Here are five of the world’s best bridges in a feature that, naturally, spans the globe…

Five of the World’s Best Bridges humber

The Humber Bridge, East Yorkshire
image: Tonyharp

The Humber Bridge, Yorkshire

Where better to start than at home? Once the longest suspension bridge in the world, the mighty 2,220-metre beauty connects Lincolnshire with Yorkshire over the still bustling Humber. Prior to the bridge commuters endured a frequently bottlenecked and accident prone journey through Goole to make the crossing. So the Humber Bridge saves lives too! Show me the steel-hearted Tyke that doesn’t well-up as they make the north-bound journey with the sun setting over the river.

Five of the World’s Best Bridges florida

Seven Mile Bridge, Florida Keys
image: State Library and Archives of Florida

Seven Mile Bridge, Florida Keys

As if the journey down the Florida Keys isn’t romantic enough, as you near iconic Key West the highway ends and the famous Seven Mile Bridge starts its long, awe-inspiring journey towards mainland America’s southernmost point. What’s most remarkable is that, with the Gulf of Mexico on your right and the South Atlantic on your left, there is nothing but deep blue water in your peripheral vision and nothing but the road out front.

Five of the World’s Best Bridges millau viaduct

Millau Viaduct, France
image (and above): Stefan Krausse

Millau Viaduct, France

For sheer picturesque beauty, this cable-stayed bridge that spans the gorge valley of the River Tarn near Millau in southern France, probably takes first prize. Architects still use the bridge as a blueprint when demonstrating how exemplary countryside can be preserved, even enhanced, by bridge construction – and the view from afar, with the bridge arching over the gentle rolls of the gorge is beyond stunning.

Five of the World’s Best Bridges pons fabricus

Pons Fabricus, Rome
image: MatthiasKabel

Pons Fabricus, Rome

And for romance, look no further than the oldest Roman-built bridge in Rome. Proving that size doesn’t always matter, the 62BC stone construction is a lovers’ link and a hotspot for marriage proposals. Lit up at night, its beauty is unsurpassable. Even better, it connects an island on the Tiber to the ‘Field of Mars’. I mean, how much more romantic do you want it?

Five of the World’s Best Bridges sydney harbour

Sydney Harbour Bridge
image: JJ Harrison

Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia

Just about pipping San Francisco’s Golden Gate as the world’s most iconic bridge, Sydney’s ‘Coathanger’ has achieved iconic status mainly as the backdrop to the firework demonstrations that see in every New Year. As a multi-coloured frame to the neon city behind it, the bridge is the ultimate landmark for a truly modern, cosmopolitan city.


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