Bridges are what connect the widely disparate lands of our world together. But they're more than that – many of them are architectural wonders. With the painstaking amount of labor and finance invested in them, these are a token of how far humanity has come from the stone ages.
Here are some of those bridges that reinstate the development and wonderment of art and design; dream and passion and most importantly human perseverance.
— Wishberg (@Wishberg) February 4, 2014
In Guangxi Province of China, local Dong people are famous for constructing "wind and rain bridges" or "the flower bridge" complete with porches and pavilions, which provide shelter when it rains. Of them, the Chengyang Bridge, also known as Yongji or Panlon bridge is the most famous, panning the Linxi River of Sanjiang County. Built in 1916, it is 64.4 meters long, 3.4 meters wide and 10.6 meters high. On the bridge itself, there are five tower-like kiosks with horns and eaves, which resemble the flapping wings of birds. Surprisingly, though, no nails or rivets were used to build Chengyang, instead the talented Dong builders dove-tailed many pieces of wood. Though several decades old, it is still very sturdy and one can sit on the benches built on the bridge and appreciate the picturesque scenery. Many visitors like to spend time here enjoying the perfect pastoral life and to experience the customs of the Dong people.
Langkawi Sky Bridge
Popular with Bollywood fans since its appearance in "Don 2: The Chase Begins Again," Langkawi Sky Bridge is 125 metre curved pedestrian cable-stayed bridge located at the peak of Gunung Mat Chinchang mountain on Pulau Lankwai, an island in Kedah, Malaysia. Completed in 2004, this suspended bridge is located at the end of a cable car ride, which begins at the Oriental Village at the foot hill of the Machincang mountain range. The bridge is suspended from a 82 meter high single pylon and hangs at about 100 meter above ground. It swings out over the landscape to give visitors a unique spatial experience and spectacular views. Langkawi Sky Bridge ranks among the world's strangest suspension bridge and constructing it was not an easy feat. The entire bridge, in all its elements had to be lifted to the top of the mountain by helicopter and was later assembled to its current position.
Literally meaning 'old bridge' in Italian, if it could, the Ponte Vecchio would tell stories from as early as the medieval times. It was the only bridge across the Arno in Florence until 1218, and is the only bridge across the Arno, that was not torn down by the fleeing Germans during the World War II. On 4 November 1966, the bridge miraculously withstood the tremendous weight of water and silt when the Arno once again burst its banks. Today, it is a tourist hub that house jewelers, souvenir shops and art houses and various other vendors that beckon all travellers for a delightful stroll.
Living Roots Bridges
Deep in the dense tropical forest of Meghalaya, and shrouded in cloud and rain for much of the year, are some astonishing man-made natural wonders. Known as living root bridges, inventive members of the War-Khasi tribe have trained them to grow from the roots of ancient rubber trees. These root bridges provide a stable alternative to wooden bridges, which decay and get destroyed during the lengthy monsoon seasons. Meghalaya's most famous root bridge, the 'double decker' root bridge, can be found in the vicinity of the wettest place on earth -- Cherrapunji (also known as Sohra). There are 11 functional root bridges that may be over 500 years old.
Stretched over miles and miles of water, connecting Sweden with Denmark over the Oresund Strait is the spectacular Oresund Bridge. The bridge ends on a man-made island, Peberholm from where it continues to go underwater as a tunnel. This cable-stayed bridge connects many parts of Western and Central Europe. Although the construction of this beauty, in the immensely popular "Dissing+Weitling" building had begun in 1995 and was completed in four years, it was not until 2000 that the bridge was officially opened. To commemorate this occasion the Danish Queen and the Swedish King hosted the celebrations and the ceremony.