This Is the Oldest Bridge in the World

Source: By Klaus-Peter Simon - Own work, CC BY 3.0,

10. Penkalas Bridge
> When built: 2nd century
> Location: Aezani, Turkey
> Who built it: Roman empire
> Length: N/A

The Penkalas Bridge is a Roman-built vaulted-arch span over the Penkalas River in the Turkish town of Aezani. The five-span bridge is believed to be one of four ancient bridges in the region and the most important crossing-point because of its proximity to a temple of Zeus, as well as its direct access to a Roman road.

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9. Pergamon Bridge
> When built: 2nd century
> Location: Pergamon, Turkey
> Who built it: Roman empire
> Length: 29 feet

Pergamon Bridge is an arch bridge located in Pergamon in Izmir, Turkey. The structure is considered to be a Roman substruction bridge over the Selinus River in what had been the ancient city of Pergamon, now called Bergama. It was constructed during the reign of Emperor Hadrian in the second century. The bridge is more than 640 feet wide and designed to create a passage underneath a court in front of a massive temple complex.

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8. Ponte Sant’Angelo
> When built: 134
> Location: Rome, Italy
> Who built it: Roman empire, commissioned by Hadrian
> Length: 443 feet

Ponte Sant’Angelo is a pedestrian bridge and one of the most famous bridges in Rome. The structure was commissioned by Emperor Hadrian to traverse the Tiber River from the city center in Rome to his mausoleum, now known as the Castel Sant’Angelo. The name Sant’Angelo, or holy angel, comes from the belief that the archangel Michael appeared on top of the mausoleum and ended a plague in Rome. In the 17th century, famed sculptor Lorenzo Bernini added 10 physical angels to the bridge, each of them holding a symbol related to the crucifixion of Jesus, such as a crown of thorns.

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7. Alcántara Bridge
> When built: 104-106
> Location: Alcántara, Spain
> Who built it: Roman empire, by order of Trajan
> Length: 203 feet

Alcántara Bridge in Alcántara, Spain, is another example of Roman engineering prowess. It was constructed under orders from Emperor Trajan, and the stone-arched bridge spans the Tagus River. The six-arch bridge has had to be repaired over time because of damage inflicted by wars with the Moors and the Portuguese.

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6. Pont du Gard
> When built: Mid-1st century
> Location: Languedoc-Roussillon, France
> Who built it: Roman empire (aqueduct)
> Length: 902 feet

Pont du Gard, one of the world’s most photographed spans, has inspired artists such as French painter Hubert Robert and English artists William Marlow and Frederick Richard Lee. The span was built almost 2,000 years ago over the Gardon River in Languedoc-Roussillon, France. It is an architectural marvel. The three-tiered structure’s stones weigh up to six tons and were cut to precisely fit, eliminating the need for mortar. In 2004, Pont du Gard was named an official Grand Site de France.

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