Monday, August 30th – Guten tag! This week we have a marvel of a bridge, as per usual. Navigating to the EU we find ourselves right outside the second largest city of the German state of Saxony-Anhalt – Magdeburg.
The river bridge is exactly what it sounds like, a bridge filled with water… passing over another body of water.
We even provided picturesque dialogue that you can close your eyes to and drift off into a meditative state (just look at that countryside! 👀 ). Speaking of water, since it’s the main ingredient in beer, we’d love to hear what your favorite beer is. Find us on our socials and let us know!
What is interesting about the river bridge is that it has transformed the navigation route for ships. Taking a look at the map below you can see how the Elbe river would take about 12km to navigate without the bridge (red dotted line). This bridge is so impactful because it connects (yellow dotted line) the Elbe-Havel-Kanal with the Mittellandkanal, which is very important economically and leads to the country’s industrial Ruhr heartland.
The connection between the eastern and western side of this region brings up a unique quality of this bridge. Although planning began as far back as 1919, construction didn’t kick off until the 1930s and was cut off due to the start of WWII.
After WWII, The Cold War diminished trade between East and West Germany so the need for a bridge fell off as well.
Finally, the reunification of Germany kicked off a ton of transportation projects, including the finalization of this bridge. Construction resumed in 1997 and finally completed in 2003.
Our love for this bridge stems from its intuitiveness and design. In the section cut below, you can see how the bridge itself is almost shaped like a boat. What’s amazing is that there are walkways on both sides so cyclists and pedestrians can cross too!
We learned a very interesting fact when researching this episode – the double lock mechanism, which allows boats to navigate the bridge, was invented in China back in 540 BC. These water elevators raise and lower boats in and out of the Elbe. Previously the boats would have to navigate up stream and even up in altitude!
As always we appreciate our trolls! Be sure to tune in to Das Water Bridge this week!