It is each time a pleasure for me to see again the emblematic bridge of London. This time the metallic structures had been repainted in blue, white and some touches of red.
Best views on Tower Bridge are from the wharf alongside the South Wall of the Tower of London.
Last year, sitting on the balcony of the Dickens Inn, I saw the bridge go open to let pass the tall ship Stavros S Niarchos. This is a brig, a two mast square rigged school ship (photo 3). The (apprentice) sailors were standing on the sail yards. Quite spectacular for the public and the young sailors.
After that the tall ship moored alongside the HMS Belfast.
This is one of the iconic structures of London – so much so that an urban myth has it that the rich American who bought London Bridge to erect in the Arizona desert actually thought he was getting this one and was disappointed when he realised what he had purchased! I’m not sure if that’s true, but if you think about bridges over the Thames this one will inevitably come to mind.
Tower Bridge was completed in 1894, and was considered one of the great engineering marvels of its age. It was the first to be built east of London Bridge, and its design was a response to the problem of constructing a bridge over a stretch of the river where shipping was so busy. The road crosses the river on two “bascules” – sections which can be raised to allow for ships to pass through. High above these a walkway was intended to allow pedestrians to cross even when the bascules were raised, but was closed as it was found that most people preferred simply to wait. Nowadays this walkway houses an exhibition about the history of the bridge and offers great views of the river (or so I’ve heard – I’ve yet to visit myself).
Although river traffic is not as busy as it once was, the bridge is still lifted approximately 1000 times a year to allow tall ships, cruise ships, naval vessels and other large craft to pass through. If you want to time your visit to coincide with a lift, check out the schedule on the website.
You can see the bridge at any time of course, but if you want to visit the exhibition and check out the views, opening hours are 10.00 – 18.30 (last admission 17.30) 1st April - 30th September and 09.30 – 18.00 (last admission 17:00) 1st October - 31st March. Admission costs £8 for adults, £3.40 for children (5-15) and £5.60 for concessions. There are various deals for family groups of different sizes, so make sure you ask about these.
Update March 2013: prices corrected
Just to the east of Tower Bridge on the walk way by the river you will find this bronze fountain statue which was designed by David Wynne and placed there in 1976. It actually stands just at the side of Tower Hotel and makes a good foto if you manage to get Tower Bridge in the background. There is also a second statue at Chelsea School of Art called b "Boy with a Dolphin"
Tower Bridge was built in 1894 in Victoria Gothic style so it would be in harmony with the nearby Tower of London. 11,000 tons of steel were used for the framework of the 265 m long bridge, 450 workers and five different contractors. The mechanism hidden in the base of the towers which was used to open the bridge was steam run until 1976 when it was replaced by an electrical mechanism. When opened the 30 metre decks have a clearance of 45 metres and an angle of 83 degrees. Go inside the bridge and climb up to the walkways between the two towers for a wonderful view and excellent opportunity for photography.
Dead Man's Hole was a mortuary just under Tower Bridge, on the south-east corner of the Tower f London, where dead bodies were washed up from the river after they jumped off the bridge in suicide attempts. The mortuary was built in to the base of the Tower which supported the walkway and would be stored there until there was time for the relatives to pick them up for burial. It is just by the tunnel under the bridge.
The jewel in the crown of London bridges is the beautiful Tower bridge. After a lovely but long walk from Westminster bridge along river Thames seeing the magical Tower bridge appear is quite a sight.
Tower bridge gets its name from the Tower of London which is next to the bridge. It is built in a lovely Victorian gothic style to harmonize with the Tower of London, and was opened in 1894 by Edward VII.
It is a must crossing this bridge, it is somewhat so magical walking so close to the towers - and the view from the bridge is spectacular.
It is quite a spectacle seeing Tower bridge open up to river traffic, I have waited on one side of the bridge when it opened. Each one of the drawbridges weighs ca 1.000 tons and it takes 1,5 minute for it to open up.
The Tower bridge has been the landmark of London, even though London Eye is catching on now.
It is a common mistake to call The Tower bridge London bridge - I add a photo of London bridge just for the comparison ;)
There is an exhibition in Tower Bridge "The Tower Bridge Experience".
Tower Bridge is an iconic part of the London skyscape. Its two neo-Gothic towers, constructed in the latter half of the 19th century, contrast with the post-modern redevelopment of the south shore of the Thames, and with the high-flying architecture of the nearby City of London. The two towers are connected to one another by a footbridge high above the road, from which visitors get views of the River Thames and of the buildings and settlements on either bank. While the hydraulic systems and the infrastructure that is embodied in the Tower Bridge are certainly impressive – as are the various projects meant to modernize and renovate the Bridge – the structure lacks the historical value or prestige of the nearby Tower of London. Be sure to visit the Bridge on a warm and calm day, as the wind picks up an extra chill off the water and can be numbing during the winter.
Tower Bridge was constructed between 1886 and 1894 and is probably the most famous bridge in London. There is a tower each side of the bridge which are connected by two walkways designed to withstand the force exerted on the landward side. The bascule pivots and other machinery are in the base of each tower. 40,000 people pass over the bridge each day, by foot and by car and the bridge's bascules are opened about 20 times a week. "4 hours notice must be given by boats that require to go up or downstream although river traffic still has priority over road traffic. The walkways used to be used by prostitutes and pick pockets so they were closed down in 1910, but in 1982 they were opened again for tourists to see an exhibition which remains there today (at a fee, of course)
The Tower Bridge is one of the icons of London, with its distinct shape and character. It takes its name from the adjacent Tower of London. It consists of two towers connected by an upper walkway.
The need to construct a new bridge downstream from London Bridge arose during the second half if the 19th century, with the commercial development of the East End of London.
The plan which won approval included a central "bascule bridge" between the two towers, which could be opened and lifted for the passage of ships on the river, and a suspension bridge at either end.
The Tower Bridge is 244 meters long, and the towers are 65 meters high.
It has four exhibition venues: the high level Walkways, with great views of the Thames; the North Tower Lounge; the Victorian Engine Rooms ;and the Bridge Master’s Dining Room.
In the evening the bridge is beautifully illuminated and looks very impressive. We were sitting in the Tower Hotel bar and watched it open and close when ships pass under it, and it was a majestic sight!
Tower Bridge is one of London's best known landmarks for more than 100 years. The middle of the bridge can be raised to allow the boats to pass, what nowadays happens less than once a day.
From the top there is a great view on the centre of London, with a display with the story of the bridge, and the original mechanism used to raise the bridge, however, the entrance is not cheap. (Actually closed... it seems)
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