Friday, 23 September 2016

Golden Horn Bridge by Leonardo da Vinci

An Italian polymath of the Renaissance Leonardo da Vinci remains one of the greatest painters, architects, engineers, scientists and inventors until today. Many of his projects appeared hundreds of years before their time – and the Golden Horn Bridge is a wonderful example.

Golden Horn Bridge by Leonardo da Vinci

In 1501, Leonardo da Vinci created a design of a bridge with only one interspace of 240 meters’ lengths – it was the first project of such kind in history. The bridge should have been constructed over the Golden Horn – over the Bosporus Strait that divided Constantinople (modern Istanbul). However, the construction methods that allowed such construction appeared only three hundred years later, thus it was impossible to build it in Leonardo’s times. 

For five hundred years the sophisticated design remained just a picture in the corner of one of da Vinci’s large notebooks. Until in 1996 a modern Norwegian artist Vebjørn Sand saw the picture at an exhibition of Leonardo’s engineering projects. Sand was so impressed by it that upon his return to Oslo he suggested that Norwegian Public Roads should carry the project out. 

Golden Horn Bridge by Leonardo da Vinci

For the next several years, Vebjørn Sand dedicated his time and efforts to make Leonardo’s project a reality. In 2001, a small pedestrian bridge based on Leonardo’s design was constructed next to the town of Ås, on the road E18 that connects Oslo and Stockholm. The works were led by the architect Zelberg. 

Golden Horn Bridge by Leonardo da Vinci

The pedestrian bridge is based on the same model as Leonardo’s design but instead of a massive stone bridge arch, there we can see three bow lines over the road. These lines are used for pedestrians and cyclists. The full length of the bridge is 108 meters with the width of the main interspace of 40 meters and the height of 10 meters. 


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