The Gateshead Millennium Bridge, England
Opened by the Queen in 2002 and found in the city of Newcastle, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge is unique as one of the few bridges in the world that tilts. When it is tilted one way, it turns into a normal pedestrian bridge that the public can cross over. When it is tilted the other way, it let boats and ships pass beneath. The bridge has won many architectural awards for its design and is nicknamed the “Winking Eye Bridge” because it looks like an eye winking every time it tilts.
Stari Most, Bosnia
Literally translated as “Old Bridge” in English, Stari Most was thought to be built in 1566 and managed to withstand the test of time until the bridge was destroyed in 1993 during the outbreak of the Bosnian war. More than $13 million was spent on rebuilding the 16th Century bridge until it was finally restored and opened to the public again in 2004. It is a tradition for locals to dive off this bridge into the river below. The bridge is also recognized as a world heritage site.
Akashi-Kaikyō Bridge, Japan
One of Japan’s greatest pieces of engineering, this bridge holds the record for bring the longest suspension bridge in the world with a total length of 3,911 m. It would take four Brooklyn Bridges to span the same distance. Opening in 1998, it took 12 years to build, and it links the city of Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture to Iwaya in the Awaji Island. It was never built with the intention of being the longest suspension bridge in the world, but in 1995, the Kobe Earthquake hit halfway during it’s construction and consequently added an extra 3 ft, which gave the bridge its record. The length of the cables used in the bridge totals 300,000 km. That’s enough to circle the earth 7.5 times.
Rialto Bridge, Italy
Built in the 15th century and rich in history, it crosses over the Grand Canals of Venice. It was technically built before that, in 1181, as a small barge that served as the only crossing to get to the other side of the Grand Canal. In 1551, authorities asked for the bridge to be upgraded. Some of the best architects in history, including Michelangelo and Palladio, offered plans to redesign the bridge but the honor eventually went to Antonio da Ponte. Skeptical of his plans, architects predicted the failure of the bridge, but he defied them. The classic Venetian architecture adds to its appeal, and until the nineteenth century, Rialto Bridge was still the only bridge to span the Grand Canal and the only link between the two sides of Venice until more modern day bridges were built.
No, this one isn’t fake! This extremely bizarre bridge is found in Leeuwarden. Because of the vast amount of rivers running throughout the Netherlands, and boat traffic as high as the volume of vehicles, the country needed a bridge able to quickly raise and lower itself to benefit both road and river traffic. Constructed in 2000 from iron and steel, the bridge is raised and lowered 10 times a day with the use of hydraulics.