Bridges are awesome. Let’s get that out of the way first. They help us with transporting goods and services across rivers and help connect places that have never been connected before. We drive our cars, buses, trucks and trains over them daily. But, what if we told you that there exists a bridge for ships and boats as well. Yeah, we know it sounds silly, but humans, the awesome engineers that we are, have managed to actually build bridges of water. Water bridges, as they’re more commonly known, are truly a marvel of modern engineering.
Also known as a navigable aqueduct, it is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, a bridge that carries water, across which one can navigate on a boat. The thought itself sounds unique and poetic. Serving as connectors of channels and canals, these aqueducts are amazing feats of engineering and absolutely perfect spots for quaint and surreal experiences over water.
Here 10 of the world’s best water bridges in the world
1. Aqueduct Veluwemeer, Netherlands
These 25 metres of epicness flowing loudly right above an underpass in the middle of lake Veluwemeer is called the Aqueduct Veluwemeer. It connects the Netherlands to Flevoland – the largest artificial island in the world.
2. Pont du Sart Aqueduct, Belgium
Weighing in at a whopping 65,000 tons, the Pont du Sart Aqueduct is located in western Belgium, near the town of Houdeng-Goegnies. This massive structure was built to carry the Centrumkanaal water channel, and is one of the longest of its kind.
3. Magdeburg Water Bridge, Germany
Opened in 2003, the Magdeburg Water Bridge is the longest navigable aqueduct in the world. It connects the Elbe and Havel channels, and is a streamlined bridge traversing over 918 metres.
4. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, UK
Constructed as far back as 1805, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is the longest and highest navigable aqueduct in Britain. Let me give you some perspective on that. That’s a water bridge that is 307 metres long and 38 metres above the river below. The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct also happens to be a world heritage site.
5. Aqueduct Ringvaart Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands
The Netherlands’s oldest water bridge, the Ringvaart, is a circular canal surrounding the Haarlemmermeer polder – a low-lying tract of land enclosed by dikes. The spectacular structure forms the boundary of the Haarlemmermeer municipality, and makes for a splendid sight to look at.
6. Lune Aqueduct, UK
Built in 1797, the Lune Aqueduct carries the Lancaster Canal over 18 metres above the River Lune. The aqueduct itself is a beautiful structure beaming through over 200 metres in length in Lancashire, England.
7. Briare Aqueduct, France
France is not too far behind when it comes to grand water bridge structures. Before Germany’s Magdeburg Water Bridge was built, the Briare Aqueduct was the longest steel aqueduct in the world. An exemplary feat of engineering for its time.
8. Naviduct Krabbersgat, Netherlands
Krabbersgat is the world’s first naviduct – a waterway with a lock – near Enkhuizen, Netherlands. The naviduct was first built to connect two lakes which were on different levels, in an ingenious way. Not leaving out the fact that floating over it is an experience of a lifetime.
9. Edstone Aqueduct, UK
Compactly crossing over a narrow street between the Birmingham and North Warwickshire railway, the Edstone Aqueduct used to once serve as the trackbed for the Alcester Railway. And it happens to be one of England’s oldest and longest aqueducts.
10. Aqueduct Langdeel, Netherlands
The Aqueduct Langdeel stretches at over 360 feet above the N31 highway, near the city of Leeuwarden, Netherlands. The aqueduct was built in 2007 and serves to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing structures in the town. Now, imagine gliding on this stream all the way to the sunset.