09 July 2010

Bridge museum in Austria

Some of my American readers may be familiar with the Calhoun County Bridge Park in Michigan, a presumably unique collection of six historic bridges in a parkland setting. Sure, there are parks with more bridges, but none quite so dedicated to the subject.

As a destination for overly enthusiastic bridge-lovers, it has now clearly been beaten by the creation in Edelsback, Austria, of a back-garden exhibit dedicated to bridges, both full-size and in Legoland-style models. Hundreds of them, apparently.

Renate Theissi, 39, who has apparently sunk £70,000 of life savings into the exhibit, comes in for quite a bit of stick at The Sun (never a newspaper afraid to stoop too low in its coverage of a story), who quote her as saying:
"I've never wasted my time with men or romance or anything like that. I'd much rather have an old timber framework bridge than a man. When my girlfriends played with dolls, I built my first bridge model. I read books about bridge construction until late in the night and constructed my bridges."
Renate reportedly has a collection of 4,000 books on bridges, and sleeps on a bed shaped like a bridge (just in case anyone is wondering, the Happy Pontist can't boast either of these things). The story is reported elsewhere on the internet with a little more sympathy, and as with anything reported in The Sun, I'd treat some of their claims with an extra-large pinch of salt.

I've tried without success to find a website for this splendid little Brückenmuseum, or contact details for Ms Theissi, but if anyone can assist, let me know.

Updated 12 July: I'm grateful to the reader who has given me links to the Brückenmuseum website, also to other sites with further information.

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