Brooklyn Bridge

The iconic Brooklyn Bridge was built in 1883 and connects the boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan in New York City. It was the first suspension bridge to be constructed over the East River and is to this day considered a masterpiece of engineering.

Brooklyn Bridge facts

Here are the most important facts about the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City:

City: New York City
State: New York
Construction: 1883
Length: 1,825.7 m
Height: 84 m
Visitors: about 4.5 million per year

History of the Brooklyn Bridge

The construction of the Brooklyn Bridge began in 1869 under the direction of John A. Roebling, a German-American engineer. However, Roebling died shortly after the start of the work due to complications from an injury he sustained while building a bridge foundation. His son, Washington Roebling, took over the leadership of the construction and successfully completed it.

The opening of the Brooklyn Bridge took place on May 24th, 1883, and was a major event for New York City. Thousands of people flocked to the bridge to admire and celebrate it. Over the years, it has undergone many renovations and expansions to ensure its safety and performance.

Today, the Brooklyn Bridge is a popular tourist destination visited by millions of people annually. It is a landmark of the city and a symbol of New York's history and culture.

Architecture of the Brooklyn Bridge

The architecture of the Brooklyn Bridge is impressive and unique. It is a masterpiece of engineering and an important example of the development of suspension bridge architecture in the 19th century.

It consists of two gray granite towers standing on the shores of the East River. The southern tower is located in the Manhattan neighborhood, and the northern one is in the Brooklyn neighborhood. The towers are about 84 m high and have a square shape with corner turrets. They support the weight of the hanging steel cable grid that forms the bridge and is supported by a complex cable structure.

The suspension bridge is 1,825.7 m long and has a height of approximately 55 m above the water. It is made up of three parallel trusses held by four main cables. The cables are made of wire coils consisting of about 14,000 individual strands. This technology was developed by John Roebling and allowed for the weight of the bridge to be distributed to the towers and the load to be minimized on the foundations.

The architecture of the Brooklyn Bridge is also impressive in its details. The towers have Gothic windows and corner turrets reminiscent of medieval castles. They are surrounded by an elegant railing adorned with lanterns and ornaments. On the bridge, there are also many decorative details, such as lanterns that light up the bridge at night and a series of bronze sculptures depicting the history and significance of the bridge.

Visiting Brooklyn Bridge

You have various options to visit the Brooklyn Bridge:

Walking across

One of the most popular ways to experience the Brooklyn Bridge is to walk along the bridge's pedestrian path. The path starts at Brooklyn Bridge Park and leads over the bridge to Manhattan. This tour offers an impressive view of New York City's skyline, the East River, and the bridge itself.

Boat tours

A beautiful way to visit the Brooklyn Bridge is by passing under it on a boat. Several boat tours pass the bridge on the East River, offering a unique view from below.

Guided tours

Several guided tours visit the Brooklyn Bridge. These tours are offered by experienced guides and provide interesting background information and anecdotes about the history and significance of the bridge.

Bicycle tours

Additionally, there is the option to visit the Brooklyn Bridge by bicycle. Many providers in New York City rent out bicycles and helmets and offer tours.

Night tours

Night tours of the Brooklyn Bridge offer a different perspective of the bridge and the skyline of New York City. The lighting and atmosphere are particularly impressive.

The best places for Brooklyn Bridge pictures

New York's Brooklyn Bridge is a popular motif for photographers and tourists. These are the best places where you can take stunning pictures of the Brooklyn Bridge:

  • Brooklyn Bridge Park at the foot of the bridge
  • Dumbo along Water Street
  • Manhattan Bridge Archway in Brooklyn
  • Brooklyn Heights Promenade
  • Brooklyn Bridge Promenade
  • Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park

More tips for New York City

Would you like to discover more New York City attractions? Let’s visit other world-famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the One World Trade Center, or Central Park.

Brooklyn Bridge FAQ

Do you want to learn more about the Brooklyn Bridge? In this FAQ, we answer frequently asked questions about New York's oldest bridge:

The Brooklyn Bridge can be accessed by foot or bicycle from Brooklyn or Manhattan. There are access points on Tillary Street in Brooklyn and Centre Street in Manhattan.

Yes, visiting the Brooklyn Bridge is free.

The Brooklyn Bridge has four suspension cables.

The construction of the Brooklyn Bridge was a complex process that faced many challenges. Two workers died during the construction when a part of the scaffolding collapsed. There were also issues with the foundation and the use of unsuitable materials. 

It typically takes about 30-45 minutes to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Yes, there are viewpoints on Brooklyn Bridge from which you can see the skyline of New York City and the East River.

After crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, you can visit Dumbo (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), a historic neighborhood in Brooklyn known for its breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Popular attractions in Dumbo include Brooklyn Bridge Park, Jane's Carousel, the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, and Main Street, with its many boutiques, galleries, and restaurants. Dumbo is also known for its street art.

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