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Swiss Timber Bridges
June 17, 2014 6:19 AM   Subscribe


 
I've been on the Spreuerbrücke in Luzern. It's very pretty, even though largely reconstructed after a fire. I would generally recommend Luzern for sight-seeing, always assuming you like Medieval and Early Modern European stuff.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:25 AM on June 17


Here is the data, now calculate the shortest route to visit them all.
posted by Free word order! at 6:29 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


This is great. I haven't spent much time outside of the US, but I did get to go to Switzerland with my Girl Scout troop when I was 15 for a few weeks. Every time we came across a quaint little bridge, I was the weirdo who held up the group so I could make sure I walked across it. Just going through some of these pictures in the cities we were in, I recognize at least a few of them. The wooden bridges remind me of Indiana and always feel like home (even though we moved out of IN when I was a baby).

I blame my parents. They met on a blind date canoe trip that started at the Bridgeton Bridge in Bridgeton, Indiana (SO much bridge, you guys) and were always very bridge-happy people. We actually went to visit Bridgeton (to see the bridge) the summer after my first year of college, which tragically happened to be just a few months after some asshat burned the bridge down. It was probably the most dejected I've ever seen my parents.

But anyway, thanks for posting this. This is what the internet is for.
posted by phunniemee at 6:40 AM on June 17 [7 favorites]


The first random bridge I clicked on turned up "NB: This bridge doesn't exist any more".
Aw.
posted by Curious Artificer at 6:43 AM on June 17


So, what's the idea behind covering those bridges? Extend the life of the structure?

Do something nice for weary, weather-beaten travelers?

I vote for the latter.
posted by notyou at 6:59 AM on June 17


I bet the guys who built this one could build a heck of a rollercoaster!
posted by fairmettle at 7:03 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Of particular interest is the Kapellbrücke in Luzern (Wikipedia), which has an astonishing collection of paintings in its rafters. Walking down the bridge is almost like reading an illustrated novel. The bridge itself is neat, with an unusual S-shaped path.
posted by Nelson at 7:19 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Nice resource: I live about 10 mins from this one.
posted by Omission at 7:25 AM on June 17




> just a few months after some asshat burned the bridge down. It was probably the most
> dejected I've ever seen my parents.

Oh dear. I'm sorry for the bridge, and sorry for them. Talk about the cold hand of mortality! Just shows--if at all possible, arrange to encounter your dear one for the first time on a great big hunk of rock (the Matterhorn, e.g.) which, though all things pass away eventually including big hunks of rock, is likely to outlast the two of you. So when you're doddering geezers you can dodder up to a tourist lookout point and say "Look dear, there's the Hörnli Grat. I met you halfway up it" and some asshat will not have burned it down.
posted by jfuller at 7:36 AM on June 17


Perfect locations for horror movies.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:40 AM on June 17


I studied architecture in in the swiss alps. Timber bridges was a optional module in the structure course. It also included a field trip to see a lot of these.
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 8:19 AM on June 17


Also, how incredibly blue is that water. Nearly Metafilter Blue.
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 8:22 AM on June 17


Nice! I found a bridge I've seen several times on the first page of that list. Now to track down some more.

It would be great to have the option of viewing these sites on a map as well as the list views. Maybe that's a weekend project? I wonder if the guy who made the site would be amenable to letting people download his data to play around with it.
posted by daisyk at 9:26 AM on June 17


The more I page through this site, the more I like it. I do recommend reading the creator's editorial.
posted by daisyk at 9:30 AM on June 17


Why would they put a sign saying "Da musst du durch!" (?? Since you have to go through! ??) on this bridge? Is that a familiar saying?
posted by benito.strauss at 9:43 AM on June 17


So, what's the idea behind covering those bridges? Extend the life of the structure?

The purpose of the covering is to protect the wooden structural members from the weather.


To the point, it's easier and safer to repair / replace a rotted-out weather-damaged but non-load-bearing roof every few years than a rotted-out weather-damaged wooden road surface that will likely fail while it is bearing a load -- say a wagon, driver, and team.
= = = = =

Ohio, especially Southern Ohio -- settled largely by Germans (and far far more Amish than in Pennsylvania) -- is still crawling with wooden covered bridges, over a hundred of them, mostly built in the 19th century.

The Dayton Cycling Club sponsors the annual Covered Bridge Tour (bike ride). You just missed the 2014 event (May 31), which routed riders over as many as eleven such bridges across rural Southwestern Ohio and Southern Indiana.
Return to a time when bicycles were new, cars were few, and these covered bridges were in their youth. Most bridges on this ride are over 115 years old, and one is over 180 years old ! (Thankfully we have paved roads now.) . . . . ROUTES: 23 miles (2 covered bridges), 45 miles (5 covered bridges), 74 miles (7 covered bridges), 110 miles (11 covered bridges).
And here's the Harland Bridge in New Brunswick, Canada, the longest such bridge in the world at 1,283 ft., twice the span of Ohio's longest.
 
posted by Herodios at 9:58 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Looks like I found myself another Minecraft project.
posted by monospace at 10:25 AM on June 17


This is so neat. I lived in Kandersteg, Switzerland for a few months, and recognise a few of the bridges (specifically this one).

It's funny I never really picked up on wooden bridges as a thing until this post. Although I suppose most of the time I spend higher up in the mountains where there's no need for a elaborate covered bridge. Thanks for posting.
posted by fortythieves at 11:47 AM on June 17


benito.strauss: "Why would they put a sign saying "Da musst du durch!" (?? Since you have to go through! ??) on this bridge? Is that a familiar saying?"

"Da musst du durch!" means, "You have to go through there!" The bridge leads from a carpark up to the entrance of a waterpark and the sign is similar to the ones on the way to the slides. I guess they're trying to build up the excitement. :)
posted by daisyk at 1:49 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


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