These remarkable bridges have become destinations in and of themselves
The Millau Viaduct in France is the tallest bridge in the world
In Canada, the Hartland Covered Bridge is the longest of its kind
Too often, man-made structures mar the landscape around them. A factory cuts a harsh silhouette against a once-picturesque riverbank; a gaudy hotel sprawls onto an otherwise pristine beach. But somehow, bridges do the opposite. Instead of detracting from the view, they enhance it.
A valley that you might have overlooked on its own is suddenly breathtaking with a gleaming white bridge spanning it; an uninspiring river becomes grand when traversed by an elegant steel structure. Add to that the engineering prowess that goes into building them, and bridges become destinations in and of themselves.
We’ve rounded up 10 of the most remarkable examples here, along with insider tips on how best to experience them.
Tallest: Millau Viaduct, France
Not long ago, Millau – a provincial town set between two limestone plateaus in the South of France – was known for little more than its traffic jams. Every July and August, the village would become jammed with travelers en route to their summer vacations in Spain. But thanks to the Millau Viaduct, the town is now home to one of the country’s major tourist attractions.
Seventeen years in the making, from the first sketches in 1987 to the final touches in 2004, the Millau Viaduct is an architectural feat in more ways than one.