Bridges are real engineering marvels. The main purpose of the bridge is to connect the two banks of the river or two points and convey vehicles and pedestrians. However, some bridges are more than just bridges boasting their shape over the rivers. They are rivers aesthetically pleasing to the human eye which are real travel destinations in their own right. In this article, we’ve rounded up seven of the most iconic bridges in Europe for your next amazing European trip. All the bridges from our list have a rich history and are must-see tourist attractions. Take a moment to add them to your travel itinerary and inhale the essence of old Europe!
Ponte Vecchio (Florence, Italy)
This medieval stone bridge dates back to 1345 and is the creation of the architect Taddeo Gaddi. The construction of this iconic bridge includes three arches, the length of the outermost one is 27 meters. The construction is unique in that on both sides, crowded together, are small houses. Ponte Vecchio is mentioned in several works and is one of the most attractive places for couples. Interestingly, this bridge also played a huge cultural role: the renowned Medici family used the hidden Vasari Corridor above it to cross unseen between the Palazzo Vecchio and the Palazzo Pitti.
Tip: The bridge is located in the heart of Florence, not far from the Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Vecchio, and Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. Florence has a bustling nightlife, nightclubs, and casinos (yes, fans of gambling news.22bet.com won’t be bored there!) Don’t miss out on a chance to enjoy the timeless beauty and dynamic city life of Florence!
Ponte di Rialto (Venice, Italy)
This bridge over the Grand Canal can be considered magnificent and romantic only because of its location. Once mentioned by poet William Shakespeare, the Rialto Bridge was first designed in the 12th century by Antonio da Ponte. However, Ponte di Rialto was completed only in 1591. Now this stone bridge with arch-lined walkways is one of the main tourist attractions of Venice. Its unusual construction consists of a single but powerful rounded arch, the length of which is 48 meters. In the central part, it is more than seven meters high. Moreover, the Ponte di Rialto is the oldest bridge spanning the majestic Grand Canal.
Tower Bridge (London, United Kingdom)
This 60-meter-long bridge over the River Thames is considered not only the most famous bridge in Europe but also incredibly beautiful. The story of Tower Bridge started in 1886, and it was completed in 1894. The architect who designed this iconic structure was Horace Jones. Every tourist should at least once observe the amazing spectacle of the bridge’s unfolding. The central span is divided into two parts and separated with such ease that it is hard to believe that the weight of each wing is more than a ton. At the top, there is a gallery where pedestrians used to be able to cross from one bank to the other at any time. Now visitors of the bridge can not only pass through it but visit the Tower Bridge Exhibition in the twin towers of the Bridge.
Kapellbrücke, or Chapel Bridge (Lucerne, Switzerland)
The unique Kapellbrücke Bridge (in engl. Chapel Bridge) is a real pride for all the people of Lucerne. Its amazingness lies, first of all, in the fact that it is the world’s oldest wooden bridge. The Chapel Bridge dates back to 1360 and crosses the Reuss River. The bridge is ideal for dates, during which you can immerse yourself in an unusual atmosphere and reflect on how people used to live. 17th-century interior paintings of Hans Heinrich Wägmann which decorate the inside of the bridge also help you to realize its historical significance.
Charles Bridge (Prague, Czech Republic)
Originally called the Stone Bridge, this bridge is Prague’s oldest bridge and as much as a landmark of the city. Completed in 1402, this creation of Peter Parler was built to connect two historical parts of Prague, the Old Town and the Lesser Quarter (Malá Strana). The bridge with cobblestone floors and 30 baroque stone statues is grandiose and majestic. It is an architectural masterpiece. People even believe that all the wishes made here come true. All people who consider heading to Prague, definitely need to try it out and enjoy the stunning views of the Vltava River and the city’s historic center.
Széchenyi Chain Bridge (Budapest, Hungary)
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge is located in Budapest and connects the two main historical parts of the city on different banks of the Danube River. Completed in 1849, the bridge was designed by the engineer William Tierney Clark. This bridge stands out within the city because of its majestic stone lion sculpture and cast-iron chains in Renaissance Revival style. To this day, the bridge adorns the capital of Hungary, and the native Hungarians themselves call it “Old Lady”, thus showing respect for its age and preserved beauty.
Stari Most (Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegowina)
Spanning over the river Neretva in Mostar city, Stari Most (in engl. “Old Bridge”) is young. It is a reconstruction of the medieval Old Bridge built back in 1566 during the height of the Ottoman Empire. Unfortunately, this landmark of Mostar city was destroyed during the Bosnian war at the end of the 20th century 1990s. The reconstruction of Stari Most was completed only in 2004, and then the bridge became a landmark of the city again. Local lovers and the rest of the population come here to admire the view and remember that the structure is a symbol of unity and peace.
P.S.: There are many more eye-catching bridges in Europe to add to your travel bucket list. Here are the other 15 famous European bridges that you will admire!
- Millau Viaduct (Millau, France)
- Pont Du Gard (Vers-Pont-du-Gard, France)
- Pont Alexandre III (Paris, France)
- Magdeburg Water Bridge (Magdeburg, Germany)
- Bastei Bridge (Lohman, Germany)
- Landwasser Viaduct (Graubünden, Switzerland)
- Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge (Randa, Switzerland)
- Murinsel Bridge (Graz, Austria)
- Ponte dei Sospiri, commonly known as the Bridge of Sighs (Venice, Italy)
- Ponte della Costituzione Bridge (Venice, Italy)
- Puente Nuevo Bridge (Ronda, Spain)
- Zubizuri Bridge (Bilbao, Spain)
- Vasco da Gama Bridge (Lisbon, Portugal)
- The Twist Bridge (Jevnaker, Norway)
- Great Belt Bridge (Tårup, Denmark)
Have we inspired you to cross any of these amazing bridges? Then start visiting them! The only thing left for you is to decide which one you’ll be visiting first.