Bridges are a significant part of the cityscape of London, particularly because the capital extends alongside the River Thames. There is history in each of the bridges connecting different parts of the city and offering safe passage. Some of them are built with practicality in mind, while others are of great significance and represent the cultural heritage of the city. The architecture of certain bridges has become well known across the world with tourists marching in each year to see them. Here are some interesting facts which you may have never considered sitting on the terrace of your clean house overlooking the Thames.
- Tower Bridge - Tower Bridge is among the most well known emblems of London. While the bridge is relatively new, built in 1894, it has become a major tourist attraction. It is named after the Tower of London, which stands at the northern bank. The bridge architecture features neo-gothic style from Victorian times. The two towers make for great view to the City of London. Like many bridges in London, Tower Bridge is meant to allow safe passage for big vessels through a flap bridge. This bridge is ranked among the most beautiful ones in London, with red and blue lights making for spectacular evening view.
- London Bridge - with a length of 269m and a width of 32m, London Bridge connects Southwark with the City of London. London Bridge is a piece of architecture not so well known for its exterior features, but rather its history. This was the only bridge over the Thames leading to ancient Londinium up to 1750. The bridge has been reconstructed and rebuilt several times throughout the years. The current bridge was built in 1972 and was opened a year later. Some speculation suggests that the famous rhyme “London Bridge is falling down” is connected to some of the bridge’s collapses.
- Westminster Bridge - Westminster Bridge connects the London Borough of Lambeth with the Houses of Parliament. The adornments of the bridge represent the same neo-gothic style that was used for the Palace of Westminster by architect Charles Barry. The bridge is painted in green, which is the colour of the seats in the House of Commons, located nearest to the bridge. Westminster Bridge is 250 meters long and 26 meters wide. It is known as the oldest road bridge in Central London. The bridge in its current form was opened in 1862. A thorough refurbishment of the bridge took place in 2005 - 2007.
- Waterloo Bridge - named after the glorious victory of the British at the battle of Waterloo in 1815, Waterloo Bridge spans 370 meters over the river Thames to connect South Bank with Victoria Embankment at Strand. The first bridge was opened in 1817, and was designed as a toll bridge. The current bridge was opened in 1945. The views of some of London’s emblems, such as the London Eye, Westminster and the City of London to the east from Waterloo Bridge are regarded as some of the best in the capital at ground level.
- Lambeth Bridge is mostly conspicuous for its red colour. It is the same colour as the benches in the House of Lords, located nearest to the bridge at its southern end. The bridge was opened in 1932 with the intention to carry 4 lanes of traffic. Lambeth Bridge is famous for the pair of obelisks, rumoured to be a tribute to John Tradescant, who was the first to grow pineapples in Britain.
London is well known for some of the bridges that connect the banks of the Thames. With important roles in history and beautiful for the sight, each of them has a unique character and a special story.