We Like Big Brugs and We Cannot Lie

September 6, 1996

In the Netherlands, a recently completed bridge was officially opened by Queen Beatrix in the city of Rotterdam. This combined cable-stayed and bascule bridge was named after the prominent Dutch Renaissance humanist Desiderius Erasmus, who is also known as Erasmus of Rotterdam.

The Erasmus Bridge (“Erasmusbrug” in Dutch), which crosses a distributary of the Rhine River called the New Meuse, was designed by architect Ben van Berkel. This structure – measuring 2,631 feet (802 meters) in length – is one of the largest bridges in the Netherlands. It encompasses four vehicular lanes, two tramway tracks, two cycle tracks, and two sidewalks. The cable-stayed section of the bridge includes a 456-foot (139-meter)-tall asymmetrical pale-blue pylon with a massive horizontal base. It is because of this pylon’s unique appearance and angled shape that the bridge as a whole has been nicknamed “The Swan.”

The bridge is located in central Rotterdam, and it serves as a major link between the northern and southern parts of the city. In the time since its debut, the bridge has also played a number of other high-profile roles as one of Rotterdam’s most popular landmarks. Every New Year’s Eve, for example, it serves as the setting for a major fireworks display that is broadcast on television throughout the Netherlands. In addition, the bridge was featured in the 1998 Jackie Chan movie “Who Am I?” In 2005, several planes flew underneath it for both the start and finish of the international competition known as the Red Bull Air Race. In 2010 and 2015, the bridge was part of the route for the Tour de France.

For more information on the Erasmus Bridge (Erasmusbrug), please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erasmusbrug.

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