The bridge spans the Arno at its narrowest point where it is believed that a bridge was first built in Roman times, when the via Cassia crossed the river at this point. The Roman piers were of stone, the superstructure of wood. The bridge first appears in a document of 996. After being destroyed by a flood in 1117 it was reconstructed in stone but swept away again in 1333
During World War II, the Ponte Vecchio was not destroyed by Germans during their retreat of August 4, 1944, unlike all other bridges in Florence. This was allegedly because of an express order by Hitler. Access to Ponte Vecchio was, however, obstructed by the destruction of the buildings at both ends, which have since been rebuilt using a combination of original and modern design.
In order to connect the Palazzo Vecchio (Florence's town hall) with the Palazzo Pitti, in 1565 Cosimo I de Medici had Giorgio Vasari build the famous Vasari Corridor above it. To enforce the prestige of the bridge
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Conquistadors from Spain came, they saw and they were astonished. They had never seen anything in Europe like the bridges of Peru. Chroniclers wrote that the Spanish soldiers stood in awe and fear before the spans of braided fiber cables suspended across deep gorges in the Andes, narrow walkways sagging and swaying and looking so frail.Yet the suspension bridges were familiar and vital links in the vast empire of the Inca, as they had been to Andean cultures for hundreds of years before the arrival of the Spanish in 1532. The people had not developed the stone arch or wheeled vehicles, but they were accomplished in the use of natural fibers for textiles, boats, sling weapons — even keeping inventories by a prewriting system of knots.
Japan is the home of the small picturesque bridge of timber arches, frequently built without the use of a single metal nail or bolt. Christian Barman cites Japanese bridges as examples of ‘exquisitely perfected temporary construction’. Briges and temples were often rebuilt anually. the famous Kintai-kyo bridge at Iwakuni used to have its five arches rebuilt in succession, so that the whole bridge was renewed every twenty-five years. According to Japenese belief structures must never be allowwed to fall into decay as that would enfeeble the spirit of continuity on which the survival of mankind depends (H. Shirley 32).
Luoyang Bridge, China’s earliest stone beam bridge built in the seaport, spans the Luoyang River from south to north in the southern suburb of Quanzhou... Luoyang Bridge was built from 1053 and was completed in 1059... Built from light grey granite, the bridge resembles a silver dragon lying above the green water. The bridge features ship-like piers and a unique method of oyster consolidation. The ship-like piers could easily cut the rapid current in the river. Thousands of oysters were bred around the footstones and piers so that their secretions would act as kind of cement. This was the world’s first example of the use of biology in bridge building and shows the great wisdom of the ancient Chinese people.
Perrine's Bridge is the second oldest bridge in the State of New York, after the Hyde Hall Bridge in East Springfield. Once located in the hamlet called Perrines Bridge between 1850 and 1861. It is located in the modern day town of Esopus-Rosendale, New York just a few hundred feet to the east of Interstate 87 crossing of the Wallkill River in Ulster County, New York. Originally built to aid in the movement of trade between the towns of Rifton and Rosendale, the bridge is about two hours northwest of New York city between mile markers 81 and 82 on the New York State Thruway (I-87).
"Ponty" as it's known to the locals, is famous for its old bridge, which was, when built, the longest single spanning bridge in the world. The bridge, built in 1750 by William Edwards (a self taught mason) was so long (45m / 140 feet span) that it took three attempts to get it right. The first, a wooden bridge was washed away by floods, the second, of stone, collapsed during construction because of its weight. The third design was also stone, but much lighter because it had 6 large holes in it... 3 on each side, of diameter 9, 6 and 3 feet. Edwards was paid 50 pounds to maintain it for seven years. In 1857, a three-arch bridge was built alongside to make it easier for traffic to cross the river (the old bridge was a bit too steep).
Alcantara Bridge over the Tagus was built by the Roman, Caius Julius Lacer, for the Emperor Trajan.
“Some of the mightiest and most impressive Roman Bridges, which fall broadly into two groups, are to be found in Spain. On the one hand there is the long low bridge of many nearly equal arches acros a broad river valley. Of this kind are the bridges of Salamanca, Cardova, and merida. As a contrast there is themajestic majestic lofty bridge of few and unequal arches thrown across a wide rocky gorge (H. Shirley 21).”