Oldest Suspension Bridge in the World

Oldest Suspension Bridge in the World

Suspension bridges have been a true example of functionality, engineering skills, and creativity throughout history. Such suspension bridges have been around for centuries, and it helped in connecting regions and facilitating transportation. Though many such suspension bridges are no longer usable, they are significant in history. 

We have put together a list of the 8 oldest suspension bridges in the world that stand apart with their historical significance and engineering. 

8. The Boitakhana Bridge

Year Built: 1830
Country: India (Kolkata)
Still Standing: No (Removed)

The Boitakhana Bridge

Photo Source: Magic Bricks

In Kolkata, India, we uncover the Boitakhana Bridge, completed in 1830. This suspension bridge, designed with iron chain cables, spanned the Circular Canal, providing a crucial link for vehicular traffic. Like its counterparts, the Boitakhana Bridge eventually met its demise, becoming a relic of the past.

Did you know?

Captain James Prinsep was one of the key figures behind its construction, adding historical significance to this structure.


7. The Boharm Bridge 

Year Built: Between 1830 and 1832
Country: Scotland (United Kingdom)
Still Standing: No (Replaced in 1956)

The Boharm BridgePhoto Source: Bridgemeister

The Boharm Bridge in Boat o’ Brig, Fochabers, Scotland, was built between 1830 and 1832. It was a one-lane bridge over the River Spey with iron chain cables. However, it was replaced in 1956.

Did you know?

Sir Samuel Brown, a notable Scottish civil engineer, was responsible for the design of the Boharm Bridge.


6. The Feurs Bridge 

Year Built: 1830
Country: France
Still Standing: Demolished in 1925

The Feurs BridgePhoto Source: Feurs Bridge

The Feurs Bridge, built in 1830, crossed the Loire River in France. It was a suspension bridge made for vehicles with wire-iron cables and two suspended spans. Sadly, it was taken down in 1925.

Did you know?

Feurs itself has Roman origins, and the city was founded by the Romans. The name “Feurs” is a contraction of “Segusiavorum Forum,” showcasing its historical significance dating back to antiquity.


5. The Barrackpore Bridge 

Year Built: 1830
Country: India (Kolkata)
Still Standing: No (Removed)

The Barrackpore Bridge Photo Source: The Barrackpore Diaries

India’s colonial legacy introduced the Barrackpore Bridge to Kolkata in 1830. This bridge crossed the Circular Canal and accommodated three lanes of vehicular traffic. Constructed with iron chains, it depicts true engineering excellence. 

Although it faithfully served its purpose, the Barrackpore Bridge was eventually dismantled, marking the end of an era.

Did you know?

James Prinsep and Captain Hugh Baker played essential roles in designing and constructing the Barrackpore Bridge, enhancing colonial connectivity in India.


4. The Nassau Bridge 

Year Built: 1830
Country: Germany
Still Standing: No (Replaced in 1926)

The Nassau Bridge Photo Source: Bridgemeister

Constructed in 1830, the Nassau Bridge in Germany stood proudly over the Lahn River. This vehicular bridge has an intricate design with three suspended spans supported by robust iron chains. However, after nearly a century of service, the rigors of time necessitated its replacement in 1926.

Did you know?

Lossen and Wolf, the engineers behind the Nassau Bridge, employed iron chains for its construction, a pioneering choice at the time.


3. The Vienne Bridge 

Year Built: 1829
Country: France
Still Standing: Yes (Restricted to foot traffic)

The Vienne BridgePhoto Source: Bridgemeister

In 1829, the Vienne Bridge was built in Vienne, France, spanning the Rhône River. The Vienna Bridge endured a major flood in 1840. Today, it’s only open to pedestrians but remains a historic engineering marvel.

Did you know?

Initially designed for vehicular traffic, this bridge served as a vital transportation link for the city of Vienne.


2. The Thoirette Bridge 

Year Built: 1829
Country: France
Still Standing: No (Replaced in 1858)

The Thoirette Bridge Photo Source: Bridgemeister

The Thoirette Bridge was built in 1829 in Thoirette, France. It crossed the Ain River with a single suspended span. This bridge served the local communities until it was replaced in 1858.

Did you know?

The Thoirette Bridge was one of the earliest suspension bridges in France, showcasing the country’s expertise in bridge engineering.


1. The Port-Sainte-Foy Bridge

Year Built: 1829
Country: France
Still Standing: No (Replaced in 1897)

The Port-Sainte-Foy BridgePhoto Source: Bridgemeister

In 1829, the Port-Sainte-Foy Bridge was constructed along the Dordogne River in France. This is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the world. This vehicular bridge, featuring a single lane, connected Port-Sainte-Foy-et-Ponchapt in Dordogne to Sainte-Foy-la-Grande in Gironde. Notably, it utilized wire cables and supported two suspended spans. 

However, its service came to an end in 1897 when a more modern structure replaced it. Despite its replacement, the Port-Sainte-Foy Bridge holds significance in the history of French engineering.

Did you know?

This bridge was designed by the famous French engineer Marc Seguin, who was a pioneer in suspension bridge construction during the 19th century.


Final Thought

These 8 oldest suspension bridges in the world represent not only remarkable feats of engineering but also the evolution of transportation and connectivity over time. While some have lost their functionality to the passage of time, they all played a vital role in connecting communities, places, and people and shaping the history of their regions. 

These bridges are considered examples of human innovation and ambition, leaving a mark on engineering and infrastructural progress.

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