01 November 2016

Swedish Bridges: 7. Vasabron, Stockholm

I've got three more Stockholm bridges to feature, all of them spanning the Norrström waterway and connecting Stockholm's Old City, Gamla stan to Norrmalm.

Vasabron is named after King Gustav Vasa.

There was an unsuccessful attempt to build a bridge here by British-Swedish engineer Samuel Owen in 1843. A design competition was held in 1868, with the present bridge being built from 1875 to 1878 by AB Atlas, to the design of Emil Edvard von Rothstein.

The bridge has seven metal arches with a maximum span of 32m. A plaque on the bridge states that the bridge is cast iron, which is clearly incorrect as the bridge can be seen to be riveted from below. Wikipedia states that the design contest was for a cast iron bridge, and that the bridge is actually built of cast steel. Given the date, this sounds pretty unlikely, and there's nothing about its appearance to support this. The ornate parapets and spandrel infills are presumably cast iron, but the main structure and associated bracing give the appearance of wrought iron.

It's a simple and elegant bridge, although I can't help feeling that the ornate elevations would benefit from being painted in a more interesting combination of colours.

Further information:

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