Calatrava’s Bridge of Strings, Jerusalem

by Leslie Hossack

Bridges are instruments of peace and make a lot of sense in a city like Jerusalem.


Bridge of Strings, Jerusalem 2011

© Leslie Hossack

The Bridge of Strings was designed Santiago Calatrava, world-renowned Spanish architect, engineer and artist. Calatrava is celebrated for his many striking structures scattered around the globe, including the Galleria in Toronto’s Brookfield Place, and the 2004 Olympic Stadium in Athens. Interestingly, the roof that Calatrava designed for the Athens Olympic Stadium is reminiscent of the roof added to the 1936 Berlin Olympic Stadium during renovations completed in 2004.

The Bridge of Strings, now the tallest structure in Jerusalem, is a new landmark at the eastern entrance to the city. When driving in from Ben Gurion, Israel’s international airport in Tel Aviv, this daringly modern bridge is a stunning surprise. The bridge is supported by a 118-metre high tower that supports 66 steel cables. The exterior of the bridge is clad in Jerusalem stone, and accented with steel, glass and concrete.

Calatrava said he wanted to design one of the most beautiful bridges for one of the oldest cities. He added: “Bridges are instruments of peace … They are built for the sake of progress and for the average citizen … A bridge makes a lot of sense in a city like Jerusalem.”

This S-shaped bridge serves both light rail trains and pedestrians. In Jerusalem, the public transportation system does not run on Shabbat. The family in this photograph was out for a walk, dressed in their Shabbat finery. The little girls clearly delighted in crossing the bridge from one side to other, and back again.

Architect:  Santiago Calatrava     Date:  2008

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