Photo By Peter Watts
Golden Gate Bridge

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Panorama of the Golden Gate Bridge near San Francisco. This panorama was taken from the half way across the bridge and the focus of the image is on the road and bridge itself rather than a view over the bay. Just occasionally the traffic on the bridge dies down for a few seconds, though the road is normally much more busy than shown in this picture. As the panorama shows, the supporting towers are so far apart that they seem quite small from the middle of the bridge, and the long arch of the suspension cables is at the lowest point.


Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Golden Gate Bridge' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from California.

Golden Gate Bridge is a 1.7mile long suspension bridge which crosses the Golden Gate Strait - the entrance to San Francisco harbour - between Fort Point and the Marin Headland. Built in 1937, it was the longest suspension bridge at the time with a central suspension of 4200ft.

Designed by Joseph Strauss with substantial contributions from engineers including Irving Morrow, Charles Alton Ellis and designer Leon Moisseiff, the bridge is designed in Art Deco style and has 'beautifying' features such as towers which are narrower at the top than they are at the base to incur the optical illusion of actually appearing taller than they are. Also the design of the ribbing on the horizontal tower is said to be intentionally accentuated by the glow of the sunlight. A complex feat of engineering, for a long time it was thought that no bridge could be built in this location given the particular difficulties posed by the landscape. When Strauss offered his design, it was rejected as being 'ugly'. Yet this instantly recogniseable bridge is famously renowned as one of the most beautiful man-made structures in the world.

Prior to the construction of the bridge, transport across the Bay area was entirely by ferry boat, such as the Eureka Car Ferry which departed from Hyde Street Pier in Fisherman's Wharf and reached Sausalito by the Marin Headlands. The Eureka could even carry the railway train across the bay to connect with destinations there. The National Maritime Visitor's Center has extensive information on the early history of transportation and merchant shipping around San Francisco Bay and the Fort Point National Historical Center has information about the evolution of Golden Gate Strait as a pivotal location for military coastal defenses - and also worth a visit for the fine views of the bridge itself.


Bus: Golden Gate Bridge/Parking Lot (28, 29)
Car: Parking at the Golden Gate Bridge Parking Lot (fees apply) or free parking in another lot a short distance down Lincoln Blvd.
Walk: It takes about 10 minutes to walk to the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge.

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