Tower Bridge, London

One of London's most recognizable landmarks is Tower Bridge. Tower Bridge, London is a drawbridge spanning the River Thames. It is utilized for both automotive and pedestrian traffic. Tourists should not confuse Tower Bridge with London Bridge. London Bridge is up the river from Tower Bridge.

As the city of London expanded in the late 19th century, city planners determined that a new river crossing was needed. After evalutating a number of proposed bridge designs, a design submitted by Sir Horace Jones was approved in 1884.Tower Bridge London England

The bridge is designed using suspension bridge and basacule systems. The two large towers contain the engines used to raise and lower the drawbridge section between the two towers. A pedestrian walkway spans the two towers above the drawbridge. The towers were designed to have an appearance similar to that of the Tower of London that is located very near Tower Bridge. Suspension bridges were built from each tower to each shore.

Construction on the bridge was completed in 1894 at a total cost of over one million pounds. Upon completion, the bridge had a total length of 800 feet. Each tower was 213 feet high, and the distance between the two towers was 200 feet. The Prince and Princess of Wales officially opened the bridge for use on June 30.

Visitors to Tower Bridge have much to enjoy. Besides it being an architecturally pleasing site to photograph, there is also a museum within the towers called the Tower Bridge Exhibition.

When first entering the exhibit, visitors are shown a short video presentation that describes in detail how the bridge was constructed. From there, visitors are taken up to the walkway that crosses between the top of the two towers to enjoy the wonderful view. Many nearby tourist attractions are visible from the walkway, and it is a great place to observe the boat traffic up and down the River Thames.

Currently, there are two special exhibits at Tower Bridge. The "Bridges of the World" exhibit features a photographic display of iconic bridges from across the globe. The other exhibit focuses on the Olympic Games that were recently held in the city of London.

After visiting Tower Bridge, there are two other interesting attractions to visit nearby. The Tower of London is only a short walk away. The HMS Belfast, a World War II ship that is now a naval museum, is nearby and also worth a visit.


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