Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands in San Francisco, California, USA
© Jeff Lewis/Tandem Stills + Motio
Nothing says ‘San Francisco’ quite like.... Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, USA
Welcome to the famous Golden Gate Bridge, in the city of San Francisco on the USA’s west coast. Opened on this day in 1937, it was a marvel of engineering, built to withstand ferocious winds and swirling currents. Before the bridge was completed, a ferry was the only way across the Golden Gate, the mile-wide strait that connects the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco Bay. Many thought it would be impossible to build a bridge across it.
Finding the money for its construction was tough, particularly after the Great Crash of 1929. But eventually voters backed moves to borrow about $35m – about $473m (£378m) in today’s money - using their homes, farms and business properties as collateral. Construction began in 1933, in the middle of the Great Depression, and the bridge generated 2,000 jobs. In four years, it was completed ahead of schedule and under budget.
Its two towers rise to 755ft (230m) above the water, and the span suspended between them is 4,200ft (1,280m) long, which made it the longest suspension bridge in the world upon its completion. Longer suspension bridges have been built since then, but the Golden Gate remains a photogenic star, a symbol of American style and ingenuity. There are few better reasons to leave your heart in San Francisco.