The Chords Bridge designed by Spanish born architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava has become one of modern Jerusalem’s most visible landmarks, and a renowned feature of its skyline.
The iconic cantilever cable-stayed bridge was designed to be a visual element at the entrance to Jerusalem – a gateway to the new part of the city. But here are ten more interesting facts about the bridge that you may not know:
1) The bridge is also known as the Bridge of Strings because of its steel cables that resemble strings.
2) The structure rises up with a pylon to a height of 118 metres which provides support for the 66 steel cables. It is currently the tallest structure in Jerusalem.
3) Construction on the bridge began 2002 and it was completed in 2008. The free spanning structure curves in an S-form and goes from Jaffa Road to Herzl Boulevard.
4) The Chords Bridge is the second bridge designed by the architect in Israel. He also designed one in Petach Tikva.
5) Santiago Calatrava has designed over 40 bridges worldwide during the course of his career. But this was the first one he ever designed to carry both a light railway and pedestrians.
6) The bridge is an ancient meets modern design. The architect revealed that the inspiration for the design came from the harp of King David. From a distance, it also resembles the sail of a ship.
7) He says he was commissioned to design the most beautiful bridge he has ever done. And the result is a truly striking and magnificent feat of architecture.
8) Calatrava expressed his hope for the bridge to become a symbol and a force for reconciliation: ‘Bridges join places that were separated. They are built for the sake of progress and for the average citizen.”
9) Santiago Calatrava doesn’t have a driving license. So when designing, the travels he makes across an unbuilt bridge in his mind’s eye relate to the experience from the point of view of a pedestrian. He says: “Walking gives you an appreciation for other people. It gives a sense of your personal capacity.”
10) One of the things Santiago Calatrava said he most enjoyed about the process of building the Chords Bridge was that it allowed him to come on many visits to Israel, which he loves and admires.