Vasco da Gama Bridge, Portugal (with Map & Photos)

The Vasco da Gama Bridge, often referred to simply as the Vasco da Gama, is a cable-stayed bridge that spans the Tagus River in Lisbon, Portugal. It is one of the most prominent landmarks in the city and an important transportation infrastructure in the region.

Vasco da Gama Bridge
Vasco da Gama Bridge

Here are some key details about the Vasco da Gama Bridge:

1. Construction

The bridge was constructed as part of the Expo '98 World's Fair, which was held in Lisbon. It was built to alleviate traffic congestion in the city and to provide a direct link to the Expo '98 site.

2. Length

The Vasco da Gama Bridge is one of the longest bridges in Europe, with a total length of approximately 17.2 kilometers (about 10.7 miles). It consists of several sections, including viaducts and access ramps.

3. Design

The bridge has a modern and elegant design, with a central cable-stayed span that is supported by a tower. The central span measures 420 meters (1,378 feet), making it one of the longest cable-stayed spans in Europe.

4. Purpose

The primary purpose of the Vasco da Gama Bridge is to serve as a major transportation route for vehicles, connecting the northern and southern parts of Lisbon and providing a direct link to the Lisbon International Airport.

5. Toll Bridge

The bridge is a tolled facility, meaning that motorists must pay a toll to use it. The tolls help fund the maintenance and operation of the bridge.

6. Name

The bridge is named after the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, who was the first European to sail directly from Europe to India, opening up a sea route to the East. The name pays tribute to Portugal's rich maritime history.

7. Opening

The Vasco da Gama Bridge was officially opened to the public on March 29, 1998, just in time for the Expo '98 World's Fair.

8. Impact

The bridge has had a significant impact on the transportation network in Lisbon, reducing traffic congestion on other bridges and roadways in the city.

9. Scenic Views

The Vasco da Gama Bridge offers scenic views of the Tagus River and the surrounding area. It has become a popular spot for tourists and photographers.

Overall, the Vasco da Gama Bridge is not only a vital transportation link in Lisbon but also an iconic architectural structure that adds to the city's skyline and serves as a symbol of Portugal's maritime history.