Faidherbe Bridge – Saint-Louis, Senegal - Atlas Obscura

Faidherbe Bridge

Saint-Louis, Senegal

A 19th-century architectural masterpiece with ties to Gustave Eiffel.  

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The town of Saint Louis, set on an island at the mouth of the Senegal River, is a must-see location if you are traveling through Senegal. At the end of the 19th-century when the country was still a French colony, the governor decided that the old bridge composed of 40 floating pontoons needed to be replaced.

The links of the new bridge were crafted by Gustav Eiffel and were originally designed to cross the Danube. In 1897, the bridge officially opened to the public. Composed of several iron arches, the bridge has a central mechanism that turns on a pillar to allow boat passage. The entire structure spans more than 1,000 feet (500 meters) and is UNESCO World Heritage-listed, along with the entire island of Saint-Louis.

The bridge has been restored twice during its history due to the high salinity levels in the surrounding waters. It still requires constant maintenance to this day.

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