What is San Francisco without the Golden Gate? Venice without the Rialto? Some of the most renowned bridges in the world are an essential part of a city’s character and a lot more than just a way for people to get from here to there. We’ve put together a list of our top 10 bridges around the world. Read on to learn about the feats of engineering that created these structures and their cultural significance.
Stretching proudly across the heart of Venice, the 16th-century Rialto Bridge was the very first bridge to span the city’s Grand Canals. At the time, architects deemed the engineering of its two inclined ramps too risky and predicted it wouldn’t last. It still stands today.
Explore the Rialto district for yourself: Independent Venice: Art, Culture and Canals→
Don’t be fooled by this famous bridge’s name; the Golden Gate gets its vibrant orange-red color thanks to a special coating designed to withstand corrosion and be more visible through the fog by boat.
See the Golden Gate Bridge up close with your grandchild: Baseball & the Land of Giants: San Francisco With Your Grandchild→
A structure of national heritage significance, this impressive construction was designed to expand and contract in order to handle the Australian heat!
Ride across this iconic bridge during An Odyssey Down Under: Australia and New Zealand→
The oldest bridge in Florence, the Ponte Vecchio was originally built as a defensive structure; space was later rented to vendors to recoup the money spent on building the bridge — and the tradition stuck!
Set off on an expert-led walk across Ponte Vecchio on a holiday learning adventure: New Year's In Florence→
One of the world’s widest cable-stayed bridges, engineers had 14 elephants from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus walk across the bridge in 2002 to first test its strength.
Check out the Zakim Bridge during Boston: Birthplace of American Liberty→
This wooden pedestrian bridge is as lovely up close as it is from afar; the underside of its roof is adorned with various paintings depicting the history and legends of Lucerne.
Admire this bridge up close as you wind your way through the Swiss Alps by train: Splendors of Switzerland By Rail→
A fantastic example of Gothic architecture, this historic bridge features 16 arches and 30 unique decorative statues, all carved from stone.
Walk over Charles Bridge with your grandchild: Czech This Out! Discovering Prague With Your Grandchild→
On March 7, 1965, a day now known as Bloody Sunday, this small but mighty bridge transformed from a simple structure to a National Historic Landmark and solemn reminder of our country’s fight for civil rights.
Follow in the footsteps of brave freedom fighters on The Civil Rights Movement: Atlanta, Montgomery, Selma and Birmingham→
Built in 1849 as the first permanent bridge to connect the then separate towns of Buda and Pest, today the Szechenyi Chain Bridge serves as a beautiful symbol of the city’s cultural heritage.
Visit this iconic bridge on a learning adventure to two Old World cities: Budapest and Prague: Capital Cities and Jewels of Central Europe→
There are only 20 permanent floating bridges around the world, and you’ll find three of them (including the world’s longest floating bridge, Evergreen Point) in Seattle thanks to Lake Washington’s tricky geographical properties.
Learn more about Seattle’s fascinating waterways on Signature City Seattle: Jewel of the Pacific Northwest→
Explore more of the world’s best bridges, streets and parks on a Road Scholar City Walk!
About the Author JoAnn Bell, Senior Vice President of Program Development, develops and manages more than 5,500 learning adventures in 150 countries and 50 states. JoAnn's extensive experience informs her expert insight on everything from where to find the world's most charming streets to must-see hidden gems across the globe.
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