This is a guest post by John Hannen.
You wouldn’t give crossing a bridge a second thought, it’s just something we do to get from one place to another, but it is a unique privilege that we have. High above the water or the ground, a beautiful view of the city sprawling out before you — it’s a pretty underrated experience!
Although your local bridge may not be as impressive, there are some grand designs elsewhere. From a bridge that the Devil himself is said to have helped build, to a bridge that curls up, structure analysis software providers Oasys cast an expert eye on these unique structural successes.
Germany: Rakotzbrücke (Also Known as Devil’s Bridge)
Photo: A. Landgraf
The water beneath this bridge mirrors perfectly, creating a mesmerising circle from afar. 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.
As a masonry challenge, it’s thought that other bridges of this kind were built. 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.
There’s no going near this bridge either, as it’s being reserved. But it is still an oddly beautiful sight to behold!
India: Living Roots Bridges
Photo: Arshiya Urveeja Bose
You’ve probably seen these bridges in the movies, but there are lots of this kind across the globe. 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 originate back to Khasi tribes too. They came up with this design as the bridges they previously created, using bamboo, would rot after a while.
England: The Rolling Bridge
Photo: Loz Pycock
Designed and made by Heatherwick Studios, you’ll find this bridge 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!
Norway: Da Vinci Bridge
Photo: Egil Kvaleberg
Intentionally designed for the Golden Horn in Istanbul, this bridge takes the name of its designer. 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.
This is thought to be one of the first engineering products brought to life from the designer. 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.
Vietnam: Dragon Bridge
Photo: Ehrin Macksey / Noi Pictures
Located in Da Nang in Vietnam, the Dragon Bridge is certainly a spectacular sight! 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.
This article was brought to you by structure analysis software providers, Oasys.