Can you walk across the London Bridge today?
It is certainly the most famous bascule bridge in the world: The Tower bridge across the Thames. Incidentally, the bridge does not get its name because of its two towers, but is named after the neighboring Tower of London.
Although there is a main road over it, it has Shipping still priority. The two middle parts of the bridge are folded up for particularly large ships. However, the two rockers are only opened so far that the respective ship can pass through. Completely open (up to 86 degrees) the bridge is only opened on special occasions or to honor certain personalities: For example, Tower Bridge was completely opened in 1965 for the funeral procession of Winston Churchill.
Tour of Tower Bridge: towers, upper bridges and engine room
Tower Bridge as the top attraction in London can of course be visited: First there is the publicly accessible walkway, on which you can easily cross the bridge.
If you want, you can also pay for an admission fee behind the scenes look at Tower Bridge: The exhibition Tower Bridge Exhibition leads visitors to the towers, the upper bridges and the old engine room.
The links above are walkable pedestrian bridges, You can go up the towers: From up there, at a height of 43 meters, you have a wonderful view over London and the Thames. A glass floor was installed on one of the two bridges.
In the upper part of a tower there is also a museum, in which models and pictures of the construction and history of the bridge are exhibited. That too old machine house can be visited: Because the originally installed hydraulic system was converted to oil hydraulics in 1974, which works with electric motors. The old steam engines for the water hydraulics were left in their place and are now part of the exhibition.
Signpost to the Tower Bridge Exhibition: The main entrance is in the northwest tower. The entrance to the engine room is on the south side and is accessed from Shad Thames Street.
Even today a main artery
The road over Tower Bridge is important Main artery, it is used by around 40,000 cars every day. In order to protect the historic building, drivers must adhere to a speed limit of 20 miles / hour (approx. 30 km / h).
Tower Bridge was that long easternmost London Bridge, only since 1991 there has been the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge eastwards towards the mouth of the river in the North Sea.
By the way, Tower Bridge is not the London Bridge that it is often confused with. London Bridge is the closest bridge west towards the city center.
History: Of traffic blackouts and shady characters
The Tower Bridge was built between 1886 and 1894to solve the problems of constant traffic jams and traffic chaos in rapidly growing London. At the same time, ships should be given access to the port facilities.
Tower Bridge was made entirely of steel built. Appearances are deceptive, the towers were with Limestone cladto give the bridge a nicer look. The limestone is, however, a pure facade.
Because of the many pickpockets and prostitutes, Tower Bridge was closed to pedestrians in 1910.
Tower Bridge soon had a dubious reputation because it was hit Pickpockets and prostitutes. Drastic measure: in 1910 the bridge was opened closed to pedestrians. It has been open to the public again since 1982.
To the silver jubilee by Queen Elisabeth II in 1977 the (visible) steel parts were painted in the colors red-white-blue, these are the British national colors. Since then, these colors have been retained.
Info & tips
Do: Walk over the bridge and continue along the riverside path along the Thames.
Worth seeing in the area: City Hall, Tower of London, HMS Belfast and an easy walk along the Thames footpath (both sides of the river)
Tower Bridge tickets can be ordered online here *
City Cards: Tower Bridge Exhibition is included in the London Pass and London Explorer Pass. Read more: Comparison of City Cards in London.
Underground: Tower Hill (circle, district), Tower Gateway (DLR), Train station: London Bridge
Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 2UP
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