Contrasts between old and new London can be seen on every street corner while walking through the city. Modern architecture can be seen standing next to buildings that were built many centuries ago.
The Millennium Bridge, only one example of modern architecture, stands 325 meters long across the River Thames, offering a walkway to pedestrians. From the bridge, which connects St Paul's Cathedral and the Tate Modern, pedestrians can view the Tower Bridge and the London Bridge, both significantly different in style from the Millennium.
The bridge was designed for an international competition that was held in 1996. It provides a footbridge to pedestrians without obstructing views of the city. Opening in June 2000, the bridge raised concerns when it started to sway with large crowds walking across.
When walking across the bridge today, pedestrians will not feel a sway in the bridge. Some talk of the sway, hoping that they will be able to feel it but changes have been made to the bridge since 2000, preventing the sway that once occurred. Other pedestrians who walk across the bridge may not have heard stories about the sway but have seen the bridge in modern entertainment, most notably the beginning of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. With the high amounts of foot traffic on the bridge, some vendors have even set up stands, selling snacks like hot dogs and nuts.
For whatever reason you may decide to walk across this bridge, it’s an interesting piece of architecture in the center of a city made up of a mix of historic and modern places and it’s worth seeing simply for the amazing view.
- Text and image by Christie Francis.