Straddling the River Tyne in north-east England are the twin cities of Newcastle and Gateshead. They’re divided by the river, with Gateshead on the southern bank and Newcastle on the northern bank, but have seven bridges to connect them. At the heart of the cities, these bridges tell the story of their history. First is the Industrial Revolution-era High Level Bridge, built to carry trains up the east coast from London to Edinburgh.
The Charles Bridge – or Karlův Most – is one of Prague’s most iconic, and busiest, sights. Built in the late 14th century, for nearly 500 years it was the only way you could get across the Vltava River. The bridge is lined with over 30 statues and has imposing gothic-style towers protecting each end. Everyone’s seen the classic photo of the deserted bridge in the mist, it’s one of the most recognisable images of Prague. You might struggle to recreate it yourself though, as the Charles Bridge is one of the city’s most popular attractions, constantly packed with a mass of tourists, artists and gift stalls for most of the day.
Crossing the Seine between the Institute de France and the Louvre in Paris is the pedestrian Pont des Arts. Artists set up their easels on the bridge to paint the views – along the Seine to the Eiffel Tower one way and the Île-de-France the other – and crowds gather for picnics on a summer’s evening. The bridge is also a favourite for couples wanting to demonstrate their love to the world with a cadena d’amour, or ‘love lock’. No one knows where the trend started but it’s taken off in cities around the world.