Bridges are surely one of the best inventions in the world, they are time-saving and practical alternatives to travelling by boat. Some of our most iconic images are of bridges: the Golden Gate shrouded in fog, Sydney Harbour with it’s sturdy arch, Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland made famous by the Harry Potter films, Charles Bridge with it’s fairytale appeal and Tower Bridge, an instantly recognizable emblem of London. It’s hard to imagine a world without bridges.
Bridges are more than just a way to connect two points, they are also a way of connecting people and cultures, and as in the case of Istanbul, they can even connect two continents. They are an opportunity for architects and engineers to collaborate on a beautiful structure that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. In some cases like that of the rebuilding of Mostar’s famous old stone bridge they can bring people together and help heal old hurts. The famous Bosnian bridge (designed by renowned Turkish architect Mimar Sinan) had stood for 427 years until it was destroyed in the 1990s Bosnian conflict, after which the international community came together to rebuild this famous landmark using local materials and Ottoman construction techniques. The reconstructed Old Bridge is a symbol of reconciliation, international co-operation and of the coexistence of diverse cultural and ethnic communities.