When it comes to great European architecture, we often think of churches and castles, parliaments and museums. But the Continent is also home to some fabulous landmarks of form and function with a collection of truly stand-out bridges.
The sight of a bridge spanning a gorge like a tightrope or streaming out like a ribbon above a stretch of water can be both a marvel of engineering and a stunning vista. Like San Francisco with the Golden Gate Bridge, Europe has its own stunning icons!
Join the Flexicover Team in exploring a selection of great European bridges.
Øresundbron; Øresund Strait, Sweden/ Denmark
The longest road-and-rail bridge in Europe, the Øresund Bridge combines a double track railway below a four lane dual carriageway across the Øresund Strait between southern Sweden and Denmark - a striking landmark! This is a great way to travel as an alternative to flying or taking the ferry between the two countries especially as under the Schengen Agreement there are limited passport inspections. Some 20,000 cars and trains have crossed the bridge daily since its opening in 2000! Just a 35 minute train ride gets you from Copenhagen to Malmö, complete with unforgettable scenic views.
Millau Viaduct; Tarn Valley, France
Built in just 3 years, this beautiful bridge, the tallest in the world, spans the valley near Millau in southern France. Standing 270 metres (890 feet) over the Tarn River, it is even taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris! The 2,560m long bridge has a stunning cable-stayed design, winning an Outstanding Structure Award in 2006. For the best views of the bridge, try the service area on its northern side off the A75 autoroute. The climb is definitely worth the sight - just don’t forget your camera!
Ponte Vecchio; Florence, Italy
No visit to Florence would be complete without a glimpse of the Ponte Vecchio (Italian for ‘Old Bridge’), the last remaining medieval bridge spanning the River Arno. Its origin dates back to Roman times although it was reconstructed in 1345 following extensive flooding. This is a true landmark of the city and is always bustling with tourists and locals alike. Jewellery and souvenir shops line the bridge and the views from it of Florence and beyond are breathtaking on a clear day. Plan your visit for sunset and watch the light melt across the water!
Magdeburg Water Bridge; Magdeburg, Germany
As the longest navigable aqueduct in the world, this incredible water bridge, part of the Madgeburg crossing of waterways, is a true feat of engineering! It was part of the unification project to join the former East and West Germany and was important in ensuring the swift resumption of trading routes – being completed in just 6 years. With a total length of 918 metres, it connects the Elbe-Havel Canal to the Mittelland Canal (at differing heights), crossing over the River Elbe. Opened in 2003, the bridge now allows ships to cross the river and avoid a detour of nearly 12km!
Tower Bridge; London, United Kingdom
This iconic bridge over the River Thames and close to the Tower of London oozes charm and history. In addition, it’s a great masterpiece of both architecture and Victorian engineering. Take a tour and you will be taken on an elevator ride to the top of one of the towers where you can then watch an audio-visual display of how it was built. Walk across or visit the top for some of the best panoramic views of London - catch a glimpse of it at night when it’s all lit up. Visit one of the many bars across both sides of the river for a stunning view of one of the most recognisable bridges in the world!
Wherever you decide to travel to and whichever bridge you are fortunate enough to visit, Flexicover, the travel insurance specialists are committed to providing you the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away.
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