Europe is one of the continents with a reputation for tall bridges, giving motorists and pedestrians easy passage over/under obstacles like water bodies, mountains, and other terrains. It takes heavy investments and expertise to construct these bridges, depending on their design, nature of the terrain, and the materials used. According to the RList.io, Europe boasts of the following tallest bridges, starting from the shortest to the tallest.
20. Ha'penny Bridge (Dublin, Ireland)- 4.72m
The Ha'penny Bridge earned its nickname because of the one Ha'penny that it cost to cross when it was first built. At first, the engineers wanted to call it the Wellington Bridge. Today, it's called the Liffey Bridge. The one thing that makes this bridge stand out is its curved shape. It is made of cast iron and freshly painted off white, a trait that makes it unique year to year. By 2001, only about 27,000 pedestrians had used this bridge, marking the beginning of renovations. It only took a year to make a few adjustments, and the traffic crossing over it has since grown.
19. Charles Bridge (Prague, Czech Republic)- 13m
Prague is one of the cities enjoying a rich cultural history, and we have the Charles Bridge to be thankful for. The old bridge connects Prague Castle and the city's Old Town district. It was named after King Charles IV. Its construction started in the mid-1300s and was completed in the 15th century. Its towers adorn each end of the pedestrian bridge, which crosses the Vltava River. Perhaps one of the unique traits that Charles Bridge has is the 30-Baroque statues that stand along the pedestrian walkway.
18. Stari Most (Mostar Bosnia and Herzegovina)- 24m
Bosnia and Herzegovina's strong relationship is attributed to an old bridge called Stari Most. Since then, it's become one of the most iconic bridges in Europe. Not only is it famous for its rich history, but also its unique hemispheric shape. The bridge was constructed in the 16th century when the Ottomans ruled Europe. It's stood for more than 450 years. Today, it is one of the most significant attractions that these two regions take advantage of.
17. Chapel Bridge (Lucerne, Switzerland)- 34.5m
Located in the serene Swiss village of Lucerne, Chapel Bridge is one of the most famous landmarks in Europe. Not only is it beautiful, but also the most photographed thanks to flowers draped on it. It sits across the Reuss river in Switzerland. Under the roof of Chapel Bridge, you will see old paintings. While some parts of the bridge were destroyed in a fire accident in 1993, this landmark hasn't lost its original glory and still qualifies as Switzerland's most popular tourist attraction.
16. Puente Nuevo (Ronda, Spain)- 98m
Puente Nuevo is a Spanish bridge that was built between 1751 and 1793 after 40 years of construction. It’s 98m tall and 35 meters in diameter. Also, it’s located in the city of Ronda in Malaga. Dubbed the universal symbol of Ronda, it’s one of the most visited bridges of all Andalusia, Malaga. Did you know that 50 builders died in Puente Nuevo’s meltdown and hundreds of stones were destroyed at the bottom of the ravine? The tragic accident inspired the new design of the current bridge. It’s hard to imagine that a bridge constructed in the first half of the 18th century could be a real achievement in the history of bridges.
15. Bosphorus Bridge (Turkey-Istanbul)- 165m
Istanbul, Turkey is one of the fastest-growing cities and the Bosphorus Bridge justifies this fact. It is one of the suspension bridges spanning the Bosphorus Strait, allowing it to connect users between Europe and Asia. This landmark is 1,560 meters long and 165 meters tall. It was designed by Gilbert Roberts, William Brown, and Michael Parsons. The construction of this bridge began on 20 February 1970 and ended on 1 June 1973. It was later inaugurated on 30 October 1973. The bridge receives daily traffic of around 200,000. Unfortunately, it is a one-way bridge.
14. Kochertalbrúcke (Germany- Geislingen Baden Wúttemberg)- 178m
Kochertalbrúcke, also known as the Kocher Viaduct, is a bridge located near the Schwabisch Hall in Germany. The bridge is 178 meters in height and 1,128 meters long. Its construction started in 1976 and ended in 1979. The concrete-stayed bridge is also near a museum in the village of Geislingen a Kocher; a trait that not only tells its rich history but also accentuates dinosaur fossils discovered during the motorway's construction.
13. Hóga Kustenbron (Sweden- Kramfors)-180m
Dubbed High Coast Bridge, Hóga Kustenbron is a suspension bridge crossing the mouth of the Angermanalven River near Veda. It lies on the border between the Harnosand and Kramfors municipalities of the Angermaland province, hence its high-coast name. The bridge is 1,867 meters long and 180 meters tall. The construction of this project started in 1993 and was completed in November 1997. It was opened on 1 December 1997. Swedish residents like to call it the Veda Bridge because it is somewhere near the Veda village, which is 1km west of its south abutment.
12. La Pepa Bridge (Spain- Cadiz)- 185m
La Pepa Bridge is one of the most popular landmarks located in Cadiz, Spain. Its tower cranes weigh around 18 tons and are 185 meters tall. Opened in 2015, the company behind the construction project for this bridge was Eleva Grúas Torre. During its planning stage, the Comansa engineering team made a few adjustments to get a quick solution. Part of the adjustments required them to increase the load capacity of one of the cranes to 23 tons. This also applied to the pulleys, hoist cable, and hook assembly. They decided that the bridge only needed four tiers to stabilize each crane.
11. Viadotto Sente (Italy- Belmonte del Sannio)- 185m
The Viadotto Sente is a concrete-stayed bridge whose height is 185m and length 200m. It's one of the least popular bridges in Italy because it hides in a sparsely populated area in the Molise region of central Italy. Found about 16km away from Parco Nazionale del Maiella, the bridge stands in Italy's most scenic beauty. Its magnificent design is credited to engineers Vittorio, Sergio Scallese and Ruggero Gilgli. Like any other bridge on this list, Viadotto Sente remains a landmark that Italy appreciates. Motorists and pedestrians/cyclists travel to nearby towns for pleasure or business.
10. Ponte 25 de Abril (Portugal- Lisbon)- 190m
While in Lisbon, Portugal, you may come across a suspension bridge connecting you between the municipality of Almada and the Tagus River. It's 190m tall and 2,277 meters long, making it the 43rd longest suspension in the world. According to European Best Destinations, by the time the bridge was being inaugurated on 6 August 1966, it was previously named Salazar Bridge/ Ponte Salazar. It earned these names because the then Portuguese Prime Minister- Antonio de Oliveira Salazar ordered its construction. It was not until people staged a Carnation Revolution, which overthrew Salazar's regime, that the bridge earned its "April 25' name. This marked the date of the revolution.
9. Puente de Castilla la Mancha (Spain- Talavera de la Reina)- 192m
Puente de Castilla la Macha is a cable-stayed bridge in Spain. It is 192m in height and 318m long. It is situated near Central Hidroeléctrica de Talavera and close to Reymat. Designed by Francisco Sánchez and Engineered by Ramon Sánchez de Léon, the construction of the bridge began in November 2007 and opened on 17 October 2011. At the time of its inauguration, it was the tallest bridge in Spain. The project cost 74 million Euros and is believed to be a waste of investment. In March 2015, the Spanish government opened a new bridge called Variante Suroeste, via the Ronda del Tajo, to help ease the heavy-duty traffic away from the city center.
8. Ada Bridge (Serbia- Belgrade)- 200m
Serbia is one country with a passion for big and expensive construction projects, one of them being the Ada Bridge. The 200-m high bridge is one of the most heavily-invested projects. It's a rare example of money well-spent, thanks to its visually-appealing design. It's also the world's largest single pylon suspension bridge, but it's not easy for one to notice. Surprisingly, Serbia planned this bridge way back in 1923. For a bridge that has been in Serbia's plans for decades, it is no surprise that it's a 21st-century masterpiece of engineering.
7. Hardanger Bridge (Norway- Hardangerfjord)- 200.5m
The Hardanger Bridge is a 1,380m-long suspension bridge that was inaugurated in August 2013. Its towering height of about 200.5m allows users to cross Hardangerfjord in Norway, replacing the ferry connection that was once used between Brurvik and Brimnes. Constructing this bridge from start to completion cost around $3.89 billion. The suspension bridge has two lanes; one for cars, and the other for cyclists and pedestrians. The main reason for this bridge's construction is to improve local travel and transport in the inner Hardanger area. The construction of the approach roads started in March 2007, while the bridge in May 2009.
6. Oresund Bridge (Denmark- Malmó)- 203m
For centuries, Oresund was impassable for passengers and freight between Sweden and Denmark. The thought of a daunting journey was enough to make traders shun traveling. As Europe's industrialization and internationalization interest grew, it was evident that a bridge was the only solution to this quagmire. That was how Oresund Bridge came to birth. The bridge is 16km long and 203m high. It has a rail link between Sweden and Denmark. The cable-stayed bridge hosts the railway and motorway, which run on separate levels. The railway line is on the lower deck, while vehicle traffic is on the upper. Crossing the bridge using a car only takes a matter of 10 minutes.
5. Ponte de Normandie (France- Le Havre)- 214.8m
Sitting on the mouth of the River Seine estuary, the Pont de Normandie (Normandy Bridge) qualifies as one of the most prominent landmarks in France. Located ten miles away from Le Havre, France, the Ponte bridge is more than 820 feet long. This makes it the longest span in France. The bridge was designed by a French structural engineer called Michel Virlogeux. The architects were Francois Doyelle and Charles Lavigne. Together, they engineered its first construction in 1988 and took 7 years to complete it. The former president was inaugurated on 20 January 1995, making it one of the fastest-finished bridges.
4. Osman Gazi Bridge (Turkey- Gebze, Izmit Bay)- 234.43m
In terms of length and height, Osman Gazi Bridge which is located in Izmit Bay, Turkey, is 2,682 meters and 234.425 meters, respectively. According to TRPWORLD, this bridge is the fourth-longest suspension bridge in the world and the second-longest in Europe. Valued at $1.3 billion, the bridge was named after Osman Gazi, the founder and first sultan of the Ottoman empire. The project began in 2010 and President Recep Tayyip and Prime Minister Binali Yildrim were behind its inauguration. The technology used to construct the bridge has ensured that it's earthquake resident, allowing users to cross over without any hassles.
3. Great Belt East Bridge (Denmark- Korsór)- 254m
Great Belt East Bridge, also known as Storebelt East Bridge, was first constructed in 1991 and completed on 14 June 1998. According to 10MostToday, the owner responsible for this project was Sung & Baelt Holding A/S, and the main engineer was Studio De Miranda. It measures 254 meters tall and 6.8 km long. Located in the heart of Korsór, Denmark, the Great Belt East Bridge is still in use to date. The bridge aims to cut travel time between Korsór and the country's western provinces.
2. Millau Viaduct (France-Millau)- 270m
Opened on 17 December 2004, Millau Viaduct is one of the tallest bridges on this list. According to Road Traffic Technology, the bridge is 2.4km long and 270m tall. Thanks to its modern planning, design, and construction, it's one of the safest bridges, spanning a 2km valley in the Massif Central Mountain range. It creates the final link from Paris to Barcelona on the A75 highway. It cost around EUR400 million to design and construct it.
1. Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge (Turkey- Istanbul)- 330m
Yavuz Sultan Selim is a bridge located in Turkey's capital city, Istanbul. It was constructed in May 2013 over the Bosphorus Strait, under the country's roadway department called the General Directorate of Roadways (KGM). The ground-breaking foundation began on 29th May 2013 and was completed in August 2016. The project's estimated cost is $3 billion. Going by Road Traffic's report, it is one of the widest suspension bridges at 59m. It also has a main span of 1,408m, while the bridge's towers are 330m in height. This makes it the world's tallest bridge. Consequently, it's made Turkey earn its reputation as one of the world's ten biggest economies by 2023.
Tall bridges not only make travel and transportation navigable, but they also depict the hard work of the brains behind them. While this is a compilation of the tallest bridges in Europe, other continents also feature some of the tallest bridges.
Written by Liz Flynn
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