When you think of impressive structures, you might think of mind-blowing skyscrapers with super-futuristic technology, or unusual shapes and structures from buildings created with pin-point accurate structure analysis software. So, maybe bridges aren’t the first thing to spring to mind? After all, you no doubt cross a bridge or two every day! But if you know where to look, bridges can be wonderfully interesting.
Bridges that breathe fire, bridges that were thought impossible for centuries…come with us as we show you the world’s most unique bridges.
1. Devil’s Bridge in Germany
Photograph by A. Landgraf
Together with its own reflection in the water, this bridge looks like a perfect stone circle. 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.
In order to preserve this bizarre structure, crossing is no longer allowed. But it is still an oddly beautiful sight to behold!
2. Living Roots in India
Photograph by Arshiya Urveeja Bose
Sustainability and patience make these bridges, along with a lot of roots! 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 They were originally made by the Khasi tribe, who realised the bamboo bridges they were building would collapse or rot after a monsoon or heavy storm.
3. The Rolling Bridge in the UK
Photograph by Loz Pycock
This unique bridge allows passage over 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!
4. Da Vinci Bridge in Norway
Photograph by Egil Kvaleberg
Good things come to those who wait! 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.
It holds the title as the first major engineering feat to be built 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.
5. Dragon Bridge in Vietnam
Photograph by Ehrin Macksey / Noi Pictures
Da Nang is home to this fabulous dragon bridge! 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.