Bridges

 

 

Te Rewa Rewa Bridge is a futuristic bridge, spanning the small Waiwhakaiho River, New Plymouth, New Zealand. This bridge is reserved for pedestrians and cyclists. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Asien 1972-73
Goats, resting on an ancient stone bridge near Izmir, Turkey. – Domestic goats are presented in detail on the page Animals: Animals as servants of Man. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California, is a suspension bridge, 2,737 m long, spanning the Golden Gate, the strait connecting San Francisco Bay with the Pacific Ocean. This bridge was opened in 1937, and until 1964, it had the longest main span of any suspension bridge in the world, at 1,280 m.

 

 

Californien 2013
Californien 2013
(Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

On the Greek island of Crete, a number of old stone bridges have been preserved.

 

 

Stone bridge, spanning the Megalo Potamos River near the Preveli Monastery. This bridge was built in Venetian style 1850-1852. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Stone bridge near Kolimvari, with a downy oak (Quercus pubescens) in the foreground. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

In the Himalaya, very basic bridge types merely consist of planks or stone slabs, spanning narrow streams. A more elaborate type is the cantilever bridge, where you project beams, secured with stones, from either shore horizontally, or slightly upwards, towards each other, after which you tie beams or bamboo poles across the gap, connecting the cantilevers.

In former times, suspension bridges in the Himalaya were made of bamboo poles or branches, which were tied together with twine made from liana bark, and secured to a large tree on either side of the river. After some years of wear and tear, these rather flimsy structures would finally break, often causing casualties among men and beasts. Today, the Himalayan suspension bridges are solid steel structures, secured with strong steel cables, built into concrete blocks at both ends.

In areas in the Himalaya, where the dominant religion is the Tibetan Buddhism, bridges are often adorned with numerous prayer flags, which are tied to strings stretching across the river. Prayer flags and other aspects of Buddhism are dealt with in detail on the page Religion: Buddhism.

The following pictures show all of these bridge types from various places in the Himalaya.

 

 

Nepal 2009
Porter, crossing a stone bridge, spanning a tiny stream in the Upper Langtang Valley, central Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Nepal 1994-95
This simple bridge is constructed of long bamboo poles, tied to a wooden structure at either end, Tamur River, eastern Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Sydasien 1978-79
Porter, carrying a heavy load of planks across a basic type of cantilever bridge, Dudh Kosi River, Khumbu, eastern Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Nepal 2013
This porter, whose burden is protected from rain by a bright blue plastic sheet, is crossing a cantilever bridge, spanning a tributary to the Ghunsa River, eastern Nepal. The bridge is adorned with numerous Buddhist prayer flags. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Everest 2010
This lovely cantilever bridge, spanning the Dudh Kosi River near Pungi Tenga, Khumbu, eastern Nepal, is likewise adorned with prayer flags. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Nepal 1985
Porter, crossing an old-fashioned suspension bridge, constructed of steel cables, vines, and mats, spanning the Marsyangdi River, central Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Nepal 2013
Dilapidated suspension bridge, spanning the Tamur River, eastern Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Everest 2010
Nepal 2002
This suspension bridge, which is adorned with numerous Buddhist prayer flags, spans the Dudh Kosi River, near the confluence of this river and the Bhote Kosi River, Khumbu, eastern Nepal. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Lahaul-Ladakh 2014
Woman, carrying a huge load of fodder across a suspension bridge, Pandoh, Himachal Pradesh, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Nepal 1994-95
A large flock of goats and sheep, crossing a suspension bridge in the Lower Marsyangdi Valley, central Nepal. – Domestic goats and sheep are described in depth on the page Animals: Animals as servants of Man. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Nepal 1994-95
Steel suspension bridge, spanning the Tamur River, eastern Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Nepal 2000
Mules, heavily laden with planks, cross a steel suspension bridge, spanning the Kali Gandaki River, Mustang District, central Nepal. – Mules are presented on the page Animals: Animals as servants of Man. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Lahaul-Ladakh 2014
Cows, chewing their cud, block the traffic on a bridge across the Parvati River, Himachal Pradesh, India. Judging from the large piles of dung on the bridge, it constituted a favourite resting place for these cows. – Domestic cattle are described in detail on the page Animals: Animals as servants of Man. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

Crossing rivers in the Himalaya is not always a simple affair. On two occasions, I have made hair-raising crossings on simple ‘bridges’, which simply consisted of narrow tree trunks.

In 1982, I undertook a demanding hike in the Nanda Devi National Park, Uttarakhand, India, together with two friends, John Burke and Ajai Saxena. On our way back, we crossed the Rishi Ganga River on two rather thin logs, resting precariously on rocks on either side of the river. Read more about this interesting hike on the page Travel episodes – India 1982: Pleasures of Nanda Devi.

The other occasion was during a hike in the Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh, India, together with Ajai Saxena and his wife Madhu. The trail along the Tirthan River had been washed away by heavy monsoon showers, and a new ‘path’ had been constructed, much of it leading through the river itself. This hike is described in detail on the page Plants – Plant hunting in the Himalaya: Abode of the deodar.

 

 

Nordindien 1982
My companion John Burke has come to a stop, crossing the Rishi Ganga River on very narrow logs, and our guide Gabar Singh is on his way out to assist him. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Himachal Pradesh 2007
Assisted by our guide, Madhu Saxena is crossing a bridge along the Tirthan River, which merely consists of tree trunks, onto which boards have been nailed. This ‘bridge’ was rather civilized, compared to others that we crossed further upstream, which were merely thin logs, resting precariously on rocks. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

In 2004, when I visited the Bhote Kosi Valley, central Nepal, this area was controlled by Maoist rebels, fighting against the government. I had to pay a ‘donation’ of 1000 Rupees, or I would not be allowed to pass this village, but otherwise the Maoists were very polite towards me.

 

 

Suspension bridge across the Bhote Kosi River, near Jagat. The red banner on the bridge reads as follows: “Let us fight against the government. Help the low castes and get rid of the caste system.” (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

During the Himalayan monsoon, torrential rain showers often cause landslides, which occasionally wash away houses, trails and bridges, forcing people to build simple temporary bridges, until new, stronger bridges can be constructed.

My hardships during the monsoon period is dealt with on the page Plants – Plant hunting in the Himalaya: Rainy season in Nepal.

 

 

Nepal 2000
This tourist is balancing across a ‘bridge’, consisting of rather thin logs, leading across the Langmoché Khola River, Langtang National Park, central Nepal. Following heavy monsoon rain, the original bridge had been washed away, but in less than half an hour, our porters had constructed this provisional ‘bridge’. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Sydasien 1978-79
Trekkers, crossing the Dudh Kosi River, Khumbu, eastern Nepal, on a temporary cantilever bridge, which was constructed, when a huge tidal wave had washed away several bridges along this river, August 1978. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

When small, the weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) is a very popular house plant, but in the wild it grows enormous, sprouting numerous aerial roots from its branches, which grow down to the ground, where they take root, over the years becoming additional trunks, creating an entire patch of ‘forest’, which is in reality a single tree. This species is native to the Indian Subcontinent, east to southern China and Taiwan, and thence southwards through Southeast Asia and Indonesia to northern Australia, and eastwards to the Pacific.

The weeping fig, as well as other fig tree species, are presented in detail elsewhere, see Plants: Ancient and huge trees.

 

 

Bali 2015
Foot bridge in front of a gigantic weeping fig, growing near the Wenara Wana Temple (popularly called ‘Monkey Forest’), near Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Californien 2011a
Old iron bridge, Coos Bay, Oregon, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

The town of Nyaung Shwe, near Lake Inle, Myanmar, is criss-crossed by countless canals, spanned by a large number of wooden bridges.

 

 

Myanmar 2007
Three Buddhist nuns, crossing a bridge in Nyaung Shwe. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Myanmar 2007
Early in the morning, this cyclist, transporting his child, crosses a bridge in Nyaung Shwe. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Myanmar 2007
Cyclists, crossing a bridge in Nyaung Shwe. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Myanmar 2007
This horse cart is crossing a large wooden bridge, spanning the main canal in Nyaung Shwe. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Myanmar 2007
Boat, passing under the same bridge as above. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Norden 1967-86
Bridge, reflected in Lake Umnässjön, Lappland, Sweden. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Taiwan 2018
Foot bridge, adorned with rounded stones, presumably from a river bed, Taichung, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

In former days, the eastern half of North America held more than 13,000 covered wooden bridges, most of which were constructed in the 1800s. The covering was intended as a means to prolong the life-span of the bridge, which, without covering, would deteriorate after only 10 to 15 years.

Many of the covered bridges are truss bridges, a structure of connected elements, usually forming triangular units, while a lattice bridge is a type of truss bridge, where a large number of small planks are placed diagonally to form a lattice.

About 1,500 covered bridges have been preserved in the United States, four of which are shown below.

 

 

USA 1998-99
Halls Mills Covered Bridge is a wooden lattice truss bridge, built near the town of Neversink, Catskill Mountains, New York State, in 1912. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

USA 2012a
Hart Bridge is a wooden lattice truss bridge from c. 1864, 52 m long and 4.6 m broad, spanning the Housatonic River, West Cornwall, Connecticut. This bridge was constructed of timber from red spruce (Picea rubens), and wooden pegs, or trunnels, were used for joining the timbers. Blooming yellow iris (Iris pseudacorus) is seen in the foreground. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

USA 1998-99
Smith Bridge, near Plymouth, New Hampshire, photographed in rainy weather. This truss bridge, which is 45.5 m long, was constructed in 1850. Its arches are a later addition. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

USA 2012a
Bulls Bridge, a covered wooden lattice truss bridge from 1842, 33 m long, spanning the Housatonic River, near Kent, Connecticut. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Asien 1972-73
This ruined bridge in north-western Iran, made of bricks, has collapsed. The lower picture shows a kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), which has made its nest in a cavity on the bridge. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, spans the East River, forming the border between Brooklyn, Long Island, and the island of Manhattan. This famous bridge, which is 1,825 m long, with a main span of 486 m, was the first steel-wire suspension bridge to be constructed. Work was initiated in 1869, the construction lasting no less than 14 years.

 

 

USA 1992
USA 1998-99
Brooklyn Bridge is divided, one section for motorized traffic, another for pedestrians. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

This picture from 1998 shows the bridge, and Manhattan, at night. The twin towers of the World Trade Center, which were destroyed by terrorists on September 11, 2001, are seen in the background. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

USA 1998-99
Jew, reciting from the Torah beneath the Brooklyn Bridge. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Taiwan 2012a
Colourful iron bridge, spanning a river in the city of Taichung, Taiwan. A motorcyclist is seen to the left. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

In Acadia National Park, Maine, United States, a total of c. 91 km of so-called carriage roads, besides a number of stone bridges, were constructed between 1913 and 1940. Motorized vehicles are banned on these roads, for the benefit of hikers, bikers, horseback riders, and carriages. They were financed by millionaire and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

 

 

USA 2002-10
This old stone bridge spans the Jordan Creek, Acadia National Park. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Frankrig-Spanien 2007
Ruined bridge on the Tarn River, near the town of Le Rozier, Gorge du Tarn, Cévennes, France. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Filippinerne 1984
Bontoc tribals, crossing a high cantilever bridge, constructed of thick bamboo stems and lianas, spanning the Chico River, northern Luzon, Philippines. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Norden 1967-86
Old stone bridge, spanning the Ljungan River, Jämtland, Sweden. In 1974, when this picture was taken, horse-drawn wagons were still a part of the traffic picture in Sweden. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

USA 2016
Iron bridge, spanning the Merrimac River, Haverhill, Massachusetts, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Irland 1987-99
Droichead na Leathphingine, in English called Halfpenny Bridge (often shortened to Ha’penny Bridge), is a pedestrian iron bridge, spanning the Liffey River in Dublin, Ireland. It was constructed in 1816. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

The Rainbow Bridge spans the Neches River in south-eastern Texas, connecting the cities of Port Arthur and Bridge City. The latter was originally named Prairie View, as it was located on coastal grasslands. In 1938, when the Rainbow Bridge was constructed, the name was changed to Bridge City, as you now had to cross a bridge to enter the city, regardless of the direction you came from.

 

 

USA 1992
Rainbow Bridge, Texas. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Victoria Falls Bridge spans the Zambezi River near Victoria Falls. This river constitutes the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia.

 

 

Zimbabwe-Kenya 1994
The shadow of Victoria Falls Bridge, reflected on rocks along the Zambezi River gorge. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 Zambia 1993
This person has just been performing a bungy jump from Victoria Falls Bridge and is now hanging at the end of the rope. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Alperne 2017
Old stone bridge, Karnertal Valley, Berner Oberland, Switzerland. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Alperne 1968-2001
This old covered wooden bridge spans the Rhine River, which, in this area, constitutes the border between Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Bornholm 2016a
This rusted iron bridge, produced by a local artist in 2002, spans a gorge, created by quarry work, near the town of Vang, Bornholm, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Tanzania 1990
Makonde boys, playing with home-made toy cars beneath a bridge near Kitere, southern Tanzania. The road leading to the bridge has been eroded away by flooding. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Taiwan 2014c
The Xiluo iron bridge, spanning the Jhuoshuei River, western Taiwan, is 1,939 m long. It was completed in 1952. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Damaged wooden bridge near Bouar, Central African Republic. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

USA 2012a
This fine old stone bridge spans Jessamine Creek, near Lexington, Kentucky, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

The Blue Nile originates in Lake Tana in the Ethiopian Highlands, from where it makes its way c. 1,500 km to Khartoum, in the Sudan, where it joins the larger White Nile. The name Blue Nile is in fact a misnomer. During the summer monsoon, this river washes down huge amounts of soil from the highlands, which turns its water almost black. In a local Sudanese language, the word for black is also used for blue, so, in reality, the river should be called ‘The Black Nile’.

The first written account of the Blue Nile is from 1565, when a Portuguese, João Bermudes, who called himself Patriarch of Ethiopia, provided a description of the Blue Nile Falls, Tississat, in his memoirs.

Incidentally, to many Christian Ethiopians, the Blue Nile is identified as the sacred river Gihon, one of the four rivers flowing out from the Garden of Eden, as related in Genesis, 2:13.

 

 

Ethiopien 1996
This Portuguese stone bridge, constructed in 1632, spans a tributary to the Blue Nile, near Tississat Waterfalls, Ethiopia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

United Kingdom 1992-2002
Vauxhall Bridge is a steel and granite deck arch bridge, spanning the Thames River, London. It was completed in 1906. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Frankrig-Spanien 2007
Tall brick bridge near Accous, Aspe Valley, Pyrenees, France. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Norden 1967-86
Old bridge, constructed of slabs of Öland limestone, Stenåsa, Öland, Sweden. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Asien 1972-73
These men in the Alborz Mountains, northern Iran, are crossing a simple wooden bridge, constructed of tree trunks and branches, which rest on stone cairns, placed at intervals in the river bed. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Bali-Lombok 2012
An old wooden foot bridge, spanning a gorge in the town of Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Taiwan 2014d
Foot bridge, made from rope, spanning a forest stream, 99 Peaks, western Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

USA 2016
Stone bridge, spanning the Merrimac River, Haverhill, Massachusetts, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Norden 1967-86
Foot bridge, spanning a canal in the city of Trondheim, Norway. The buildings in the background are former warehouses for wealthy traders. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Asien 1972-73
This broken bridge once spanned the Karkheh River, Luristan, south-western Iran. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

(Uploaded September 2017)

 

(Latest update November 2019)