Puente de Vizcaya Bridge is very close to Bilbao, and is the world's oldest transporter bridge. It is fully functional to this day: almost six million passengers cross it every year. It was inaugurated in 1893, the work of architect Alberto de Palacio, and now has the UNESCO World Heritage designation. The structure is 45 metres high and 160 metres long. It crosses the Nervión River between the towns of Portugalete and Getxo. It was a revolutionary work of engineering and was the world's first transporter bridge, allowing boats to cross underneath at the same time, thanks to the hanging gondola that moves from one side to the other. This technique was later used on many similar bridges in Europe, Africa and America.
Puente de Vizcaya Bridge was the first Industrial Heritage Site declared in Spain. UNESCO describes it as "a perfect combination of functionality and aesthetic beauty, in an exceptional expression of technical creativity". Furthermore, we should also mention its influence in the development of future transporter bridges, many of which have since disappeared.
Artistic period: Neo-classical
Historic period: 19th century
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