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Opera House and Harbour Bridge at Sunset, from Macquaries Point, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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TRAVEL READING ON SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA:
On your next holiday head to Sydney, Australia, the most exciting city Down Under

Harbour Bridge, Sidney’s Pride  by Claudia Miclaus

One of the most graceful constructions - The Harbour Bridge, Sidney’s pride!  Named so because its arching is uniting the two big parts of the New South Wales capital, the south one and the north one; as a matter of fact, it unites the administrative centre with the commercial one.

Unlike the Opera House, which has risen up like the pearl of clam from the ocean water, decorating the contemporary Sidney in a stylish way, Harbour Bridge evokes the image of a young country through its monumental, ponderous but functional architecture. Its architecture which carries her past on her shoulders all the way from the colonialism to independency.

The bridge inauguration, in 1932, marked the entrance of Sydney in the rank of the biggest metropolises in the world. 
Aerial View of Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, New South Wales, Australia
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At the anniversary, the traffic on the bridge was stopped for 5 hours and almost half a million people crossed by foot…admiring the ocean. The view is worth it, even if some people find it rather scary. You can see the full scenery of the city in a breath-taking panorama, unique in beauty.  The bridge is passed by 170.000 automobiles every day and its length from a side to another is 503 meters.

When John Bradfield 'the father'  planned the bridge, an engineer from Queensland state, affirmed that he wishes a structure which would humanize the landscape, in the spirit of the Australian people; this means one simple, strong and sincere bridge.

There were seven variants of the bridge and from those seven variants proposed by the British constructions firm `Dorman Long`, he had chosen the most simple one, consisting in an arch with an opening supported on massive pylons. Bradfield’s perspective of the bridge was to see it as a gate of entrance in Australia, with one portal formed by the two pylons.

The construction of Harbour Bridge took 8 years. The arch started getting a shape. Two mobile hoists, weighting 120 tones each, were slipping along the water. It was, at that time one of the most dangerous buildings that required a lot of courage and acrobatic moves form its builders. The distance between the two parts arch was gradually reduced until one night, in 1930 when it completely disappeared: the two parts were perfectly put together. Bradfield remained speechless with emotion when his eyes saw it, while the ‘Dorman Long’ director acclaimed: ‘Thank God we’re home!’

19 months later, the deck was suspended and the bridge was officially inaugurated. The general governor, Francis de Groot, cut down the bridge inauguration ribbon.

The costs for Harbour reached 10 millions pounds but 16 workers who paid its building with their own lives, paid the most expensive price...

The history of the bridge had 16 victims along the construction period, of which six workers fell down and the other ones died in work accidents. Some people think that their ghosts are still watching on them… Harbour Bridge continued to be built and today it represents an important attraction for its visitors, numerous tourists.

While enjoying the splendid view at 134 meters above the sea level …you realize how frail you are; climbers had always existed, but to climb up there was forbidden so they did it assuming their own risk (climbing was interdicted and punished with big fines). Even though the stairs were paved with spiny wire, there were still found bottles of wine and beer and even a trolley.

Even Tina Turner when she filmed a piece of advertisement told that she was very scared although the bridge is often visited by all kinds of people: from teenagers or even kids to old people. For those who dare to climb this bridge, the Sydney panorama on the summit of the arch, at 134 meters above the sea level, is a full reward.

Harbour Bridge occupies a central position in the city, so that 20% of the population can see it at least one time a day. In a panorama of 360°, you can identify the famous places of the metropolis, like its neighbor `The Opera` all the way to the `Olympic Park`.

Being Sidney’s pride for so long, Harbour Bridge continues to attract many people who love astonishing views and enjoy feeling a little -or might be even a little more- adrenaline in their blood. Yes, this bridge is surely worth it!

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About the Author: By Claudia Miclaus

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