Kintai Bridge, Japan
Built originally in 1673, the Japanese marvel, the Kintai Bridge is one of the most revered and famous sites in Japan, still to this day. Made up of five wooden arches, it’s constructed mainly from wood and crosses the Nishiki River at the foot of the Yokotama mountain. The five wooden archways are built on top of a series of stone a wooden piers that are situated along the (now dry) riverbed.
The Japanese word Kintai translates into ‘gold brocade sash’ in English, due to its resemblance of a gold coloured kimono. Its original construction was thought to be indestructible, but sadly the bridge has had to be repaired numerous times due to natural disasters. Most recently it was rebuilt in 1951 after a typhoon almost destroyed it.
Even though it was built to be indestructible, for its first 300 years, it stood complete without any nails whatsoever. Instead, sheets of copper were placed over critical points in the bridges design.
It’s still accessible by pedestrians where it gives way to stunning views of the Seto Sea and is extremely popular during the Springtime Japanese blossom festivals. Although a feat of engineering in its day, we wonder how long all those wooden pillars will remain stable for!