The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. Completed in 1883, it connects the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River

Bridges are a testament to the ingenuity of humans. Spanning lakes, rivers, inlets and bays, they provide an easier way to get from point A to point B. Their value lies not only in the practical, but also in the aesthetic. From industrial wonders to medieval beauties, here are the ten most beautiful bridges in the world.

1. Golden Gate Bridge

Few structures are more iconic than San Francisco’s signature orange-red suspension bridge. Spanning the fog-touched Golden Gate strait, the Golden Gate Bridge was completed in 1937. The steel bridge has been featured in such diverse movies as “Godzilla” and “The Maltese Falcon” and remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States with around 15 million visitors annually.

2. Kintai Bridge

This unique wooden bridge is located in the Yamaguchi Prefecture in Japan. Made from a combination of pine, Japanese elm and Japanese cypress, the bridge was originally built in 1673. In 1953, it was reconstructed due to damage from flooding and neglect. Kintai Bridge is particularly beautiful during the spring when the region’s exquisite cherry trees bloom on the banks of the Nishiki River.

3. Khaju Bridge

Isfahan, Iran is known as the city of eleven bridges and Khaju Bridge is the finest example. Spanning the Zayandeh River in Central Iran, the 17th-century bridge was built by Shah Abbas II to help Silk Road merchants over the swift river. Fashioned from stone and brick, the Khaju Bridge is famous for its 24 graceful arches which are beautifully illuminated each night.

4. Nanpu Bridge

This beautiful cable-stayed bridge crosses the Huangpu River in Shanghai, China. What makes the Nanpu Bridge unique is not the tall white pylons that gracefully curve over the city, but the circular exit ramp on the west side of the river. Completed in 1991, the ramp’s striking design adds an aesthetic touch to Shanghai during the day. After dark, traffic coming off the bridge forms glittering coils above the city streets.

5. Tsunoshima Bridge

Japan’s Tsunoshima Bridge spans the sparkling aqua waters of the Sea of Japan to link the island of Tsunoshima with the Japanese mainland. Completed in 2000, the bridge measures almost 1,800 meters and is a popular filming location for Japanese television crews. The structure looks best on sunny days when the bluish hue of the water intensifies, highlighting the picturesque green hills of the island.

6. Chengyang Bridge
The elegant Chengyang Bridge in southeastern China was finished in 1912. The combined effort of villagers of China’s Dong ethnic minority, this wooden bridge is very important in local Dong tradition and culture. The covered bridge features a traditional Chinese hip-and-gable roof and is made mainly from the wood of Chinese fir trees. Remarkably, Chengyang Bridge has no nails or scews; it was constructed entirely with wooden joints.

7. Ponte Vecchio
Florence’s Ponte Vecchio is the latest in a series of bridges that have spanned the Arno River since the time of the ancient Roman Empire. Finished in 1345, the triple-arched Ponte Vecchio connects the north and south shore of the Arno. Perching over the lowest point of the river, the Ponte Vecchio is famous for its gold and jewelry stores, which have crowded the bridge since the Middle Ages. The bridge was famously mentioned in the popular “O mio babbino caro” aria by Giacomo Puccini and remains a top tourist attraction in Florence.

8. Q’eswachaka Bridge
According to local tradition, the Q’eswachaka Bridge was first built in the early 1400s when the Incan Empire still ruled over Peru. This astonishing bridge is made entirely from Peruvian feathergrass, woven into ropes. Each bridge lasts about four years and is then rebuilt by Quechua villagers in an important summer ceremony. The bridge provides a secure and picturesque foot passage over the steep sides of the wildflower-strewn Apurímac River.

9. Stari Most
The single-arch Stari Most in the Bosnian town of Mostar provides safe passage over the flood-prone Neretva river. Surrounded by charming medieival-era buildings, the bridge was first built in 1566 by architect Mimar Hajruddin. Shaped from native limestone quarried near the town, Stari Most is so important to the city that it was reconstructed from scratch after being destroyed in the Bosnian War.

10. Seri Wawasan Bridge
With a design more akin to a sailboat than a bridge, Malaysia’s Seri Wawasan Bridge allows traffic to pass safely over Putrajaya Lake. Completed in 2003, the cable-stayed bridge provides a tranquil companion to the peaceful lake below and lends a modern touch to the city of Putrajaya.

Visually pleasing bridges range from sleek suspension bridges to simple stone arches. By melding structural design with the surrounding landscape or simply providing a link between two locations, bridges bestow both function and beauty in urban and rural environments.

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