Samuel Beckett Bridge – Dublin, Ireland - Atlas Obscura
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Dublin, Ireland

Samuel Beckett Bridge

Dublin's most modern, visually spectacular bridge is modeled after Ireland's national emblem. 

Dublin’s 21 bridges over the River Liffey reflect a variety of architectural styles and uses. They also highlight Ireland’s fierce nationalistic pride, as many were renamed after Irish figures upon the country’s independence. In this sense, it’s fitting that the penultimate bridge of the river as it flows toward the Irish Sea is visually modeled after a Celtic harp, which is Ireland’s national emblem.

The bridge, which was commissioned in 2009, is the second youngest bridge in Dublin. Like those built before it, it’s named after a great Irish individual. The bridge takes the name of Samuel Beckett, a Dublin native who won a Nobel Prize in literature.

Famed architect Santiago Calatrava designed the bridge. He built it in the shape of a harp, with 31 cable stays of varying lengths attached to a curving pylon that soars 157 feet (48 meters) high. It rotates 90 degrees and its 404-foot (123-meter) span has two pedestrian lanes.

Though architecturally striking, the photo-worthy bridge certainly wasn’t cheap. Its construction wound up costing a whopping €60 million.

Know Before You Go

You can walk across the bridge via the pedestrian lanes to admire its architecture.

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