Portugal Opens One of the Longest Pedestrian Suspension Bridges in the World

516 Arouca in Portugal claims to be the world's longest pedestrian suspension bridge

Photo: Stock Photos from odecam/Shutterstock

If you are looking for a unique place to visit, Northern Portugal has plenty to offer—from stunning natural landscapes to picturesque cities. Now, the Arouca Geopark offers yet another destination for travels. 516 Arouca is a new pedestrian suspension bridge that claims to be the longest in the world at 516 meters (almost 1,700 feet). It sits 175 meters (574 feet) above the Paiva river and is held up at the edges of two cliffs.

The bridge was designed by Itecons, a Portuguese engineering and design studio and was completed by Conduril. The design team used two monumental V-shaped towers to support the structure on either cliff. The rest of the design, including the deck and railings, are made of metal grids to help preserve the incredible views of nature—though if you are not a fan of heights, you might not want to look down.

516 Arouca in Portugal claims to be the world's longest pedestrian suspension bridge

Photo: Stock Photos from odecam/Shutterstock

Though 516 meters is surely a long distance to travel by foot, there is some controversy over 516 Arouca's claim of being the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world. Nepal’s Baglung Parbat Footbridge may be the real record holder at 567 meters (1,860 feet) long.

Still, since the new design features special considerations for pedestrians with a deck supported by suspended cables—as opposed to the Baglung Parbat Footbridge’s deck which follows the catenary curve of the bridge—the 516 Arouca team insists their win of the title. “It is the largest in the world, as we always said,” explains a representative for the agency. “With 516 meters in length, an altitude from that water level of 175 meters, the highest in terms of construction and with more capacity.”

If you want to go see 516 Arouca yourself, you can find more information on their website as well as great tips on where to stay and where to eat during your visit.

Portugal's 516 Arouca claims to be the new world's longest pedestrian suspension bridge at 516 meters.

516 Arouca in Portugal claims to be the world's longest pedestrian suspension bridge

Photo: Stock Photos from odecam/Shutterstock

516 Arouca in Portugal claims to be the world's longest pedestrian suspension bridge

Photo: Stock Photos from Martin Burguillo Fotos/Shutterstock

516 Arouca: Website | Instagram | Facebook
Itecons: Website | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | LinkedIn
h/t: [dezeen, NPR]

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Samantha Pires

Sam Pires is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and an architectural designer. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from NJIT. Sam has design experience at multiple renowned architecture firms such as Gensler and Bjarke Ingels Group. She believes architecture should be more accessible to everyone and uses writing to tell unexpected stories about the built environment.
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