Probably one of the most famous bridges of Great Britain is Tower Bridge in the city of London. Its unusual appearance makes it easily recognizable: on the impressive river bents there are two towers in the Gothic style, which are connected by bascule spans and walkways.
Tower Bridge is a bascule bridge, and it’s also the lowest constructed overpass above the River Thames – these are the main features that distinguish it from the other alike erections. The bridge got its name due to the neighborhood with the Tower, which is located on the north side.
For a long time the River Thames was crossed by one bridge - London Bridge. But the tremendous economic rise and the growth of population at the beginning of the 19th century created a need for building additional bridges, which were supposed to help solve the transport problem of the capital.
Over the years, several bridges were built, but the problems with the traffic flow did not decrease. Soon there was established a committee that studied dozens of projects and only in 1884, the project plan of John Wolfe Barry and Horace Jones was approved.
More than 400 workers during 8 years worked on the construction of the bridge. The opening of the engineering structure was on June 30 in 1894. Prince of Wales Edward and his wife Princess Alexandra were present at the grand event.
The bridge was made in the Gothic style but with a number of innovative developments. For example, thanks to the hydraulic system, only a couple of minutes are enough to ensure a free passage to the floating ship. Until 1974, the bridge was lifted because of the operation of steam engines, in the furnaces of which coal was burned that brought the pumps in operation. They pumped water into reservoirs, storing energy. However, the progress did not stand still, and the whole mechanism was replaced by an electro-hydraulic system that significantly saved time and costs. Due to this design the bridge was raised by necessity but not to the schedule.
Time passed, and over the years Tower Bridge along with Big Ben becomes a real symbol and one of the main attractions of London. All metal structures are painted in the colors of the national flag.
To date, Tower Bridge is one of the most visited points of interest of England. It is an honor for many tourists coming to London to make a walk along the legendary structure, especially since many hotels in London direct to very informative and complex excursions around the city.
Information for visitors
Address: Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 2UP, United Kingdom
Walk on the Tower Bridge you can:
- in the summer season (from April 1 to September 30) - from 10:00 to 18:30 (last entry at 17:30);
- in the winter season (from October 1 to March 31) - from 09:30 to 18:00 (the last entrance at 17:00).
|Ticket||At the cashbox||Online|
|Children (from 5 to 15 years)||£4,20||£3,80|
|Children under 5 years||free|
How to get there
The nearest metro station is Tower Hill (Circle and District lines). You can also reach from the Tower Pier.