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Tower Bridge in London was built between 1886 and 1894 close to the “Tower of London”, another iconic landmark that has UNESCO World Heritage Status.
With its giant moveable roadways that lift up for passing ships, the bridge is an iconic symbol of London and arguably one of the most famous and instantly recognizable structures in the entire world.
Tower Bridge isn’t named so because it is one of the few bridges on the Thames that features towers. In fact, it’s named after the Tower of London which is located on one side of the Bridge. The Tower of London also influenced the final design.
A special bridge committee was formed in 1877 to come up with a solution for a bridge that would allow easy access by a cargo ship on the East End of London. The committee came up with a competition to allow architects to design the type of bridge that would serve the proposed purpose. In 1876, around 50 designs for the bridge were submitted but unfortunately, none of them was picked. Then in 1884, Sir Horace Jones submitted his design for the tower bridge and the committee approved it.
More than 400 workers helped to build the bridge and over 70000 tons of concrete were sunk to the bed of the River Thames to support the bridge. 11,000 tons of steel was used to construct the framework for Towers and Walkways.
The Tower Bridge was purposefully built to allow large vessels to cross the Thames River with ease. Whenever a large vessel approaches, the suspended bridge opens up to give way to the ship.
Admiring and crossing the bridge are free. But, if you are there, you might want to take in consideration visiting the Tower Bridge Exhibition and find out more about the history of the bridge, see the original Victorian engines, and enjoy the great views of the city.
Tower Bridge was built in the Neo-Gothic style. Also known as Revival Gothic, this architectural movement began in the mid-18th century and continued far into the 1930s.
It took eight years, five major contractors and the relentless labour of 432 construction workers each day to build Tower Bridge under the watchful eye of Sir John Wolfe Barry.
The total cost of construction estimated at £1,184,000 that is equal to the £124 million in 2016
Linking the south side of the River Thames to the City of London, Tower Bridge is a vital crossing point. Around 40,000 people cross the bridge each day either by foot, car, motorcycle or bike.
There’s a glass walkway
One of the newest additions to the bridge, the glass floor is 11 metres long and 1.8 metres wide and you can get an interesting and impressive view from there. If you are lucky, you might even see the bridge opening beneath you.
It is a combination of bascule bridge and a suspension bridge
Illuminated Tower Bridge
bird's-eye view of Tower Bridge
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