Neatorama, a blog featuring weird, crazy and wonderful stuff from around the Web, has compiled a list of their picks for the ten most beautiful bridges in the world. Bridges are part of our common sustainable infrastructure, and, when designed creatively, can fulfill a variety of functions, in addition to getting us from point A to point B.
The Khaju Bridge in Isfahan, Iran (above), was built in the 17th century as an integrated transportation and water management tool, as well as being a stunning architectural achievement and cultural artifact. The bridge, number 10 on Neatorama's list, also functions as a dam, which, when closed, raises the water level of the Zayandeh River, irrigating gardens along its banks.
9. Pont du Gard, southern France.
8. Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy.
7. Iron Bridge, Shropshire, England.
The list also includes some surprises, with the more prosaic "covered bridges" coming in at number 6. Over ten thousand of these bridges were built in 19th century North America, back when lumber was plentiful (not many TreeHuggers back then) and cheap, or free. Pictured above is the West Montrose Covered Bridge on the Grand River, Ontario, Canada.
At number 5 is the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy, the only bridge on the list whose design is based on a mixed use urban street. Here it is at night:
Built in 1345, the Ponte Vecchio was financed by renting out space along its roadway to merchants. Later covered with a roofed passageway, the bridge's appearance is the result of centuries of haphazard additions.
Number 4 on the list is the stunning Wind and Rain Bridge, built by the Dong ethnic group in China.
3. Brooklyn Bridge, New York City.
2. Tower Bridge, London, England.
And the most beautiful bridge of all: the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Undoubtedly an icon and a great feat of engineering - but perhaps a slightly predictable choice?