They’re a means to an end: bridges are fundamentally a way to get from point A to point B. But as designs get bigger and bolder, bridges have also become destinations in their own right—as highlighted by the strong ranking of bridges in T+L’s survey of the top new landmarks.
France’s Millau Viaduct bridge, unveiled in 2004, was a survey favorite for its daring beauty—stretching more than 8,000 feet across a gorge 1,132 feet below. It also inspires travelers to stop for a photo-op, including T+L community member avs8819, whose image of the bridge gleaming on a sunny afternoon made it into this slideshow of readers’ beautiful bridge photos.
While the Millau Viaduct bridge has become a near-instant icon, no tribute to these spanning structures would be complete without the Brooklyn Bridge, whose masterful combination of stone archways and steel cables—juxtaposed against the Manhattan skyline—makes for absolutely breathtaking photos.
The Ponte Vecchio in Florence rivals the Brooklyn Bridge as one of the world’s most photographed; it draws travelers not only for its medieval good looks but for its jam-packed boutiques selling primarily gold and silver jewelry. No shopaholic will just cross this bridge over the Arno River nonchalantly—and it’s a rare tourist who leaves without a few shots of the bridge and the surrounding hills and cypress trees.
Of course, here, too, in America, we have historic covered bridges that can stir feelings of nostalgia for a time we never actually experienced. Our slideshow includes one such wooden bridge in New Hampshire, captured in autumn against a vibrant backdrop of red and gold leaves. Vietnam also puts its own spin on covered bridges, going for bright colors and ornate tiling and figurines.
See for yourself by clicking through these reader photos of beautiful bridges from around the globe.