The Troung Tien Bridge, which spans the Perfume River, is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the Vietnamese City of Hue.
Truong Tien Bridge
The Truong Tien Bridge is more than simply a way of crossing over the river, there are 4 other bridges across the Perfume River in Hue, it is also a symbolic monument to the people of Hue on account of its history.
About the Truong Tien Bridge
The Troung Tien Bridge was completed in 1899 by the French colonial government. The bridge was originally designed by none other than renown French structural engineer Gustave Eiffel, who had previously demonstrated his skill at constructing bridges in steel by undertaking major projects such as the Garabit Viaduct in France and the Maria Pia Bridge in Porto.
The section of Truong Tien Bridge for motor vehicles is narrow
The bridge took only 2 years to build, which is quick considering that the bridge is 403 metres long, with six spans each supported by reinforced concrete pillars. The steel in the bridge is held together by tens of thousands of rivets, each was which was placed manually. The pedestrian walkways were fitted to the bridge some years later in 1937 to accommodate the increased traffic on the bridge which was originally only 6 metres wide allowing little room for cars to pass each other leaving little room for pedestrians or bicycles.
Pedestrian walkway on Truong Tien Bridge
Since the bridge was initially constructed it has been substantially damaged three times, and each time restored back to full use. The first time the bridge was damaged was a great storm in 1904, The bridge needed to be extensively remodeled before it opened again in 1906. The bridge was then damaged again in 1946, this time by Viet Minh forces who were fighting for independence from France. The Viet Minh destroyed two of the six spans of the bridge. The bridge was reopened 2 years later but was not fully repaired until 1953. The third, and hopefully final time ,the bridge was damaged was during the Tet Offensive of 1968 when Vietnamese Communist forces attacked American soldiers and their Allies in the bloody battle of Hue. On this occasion the 4th span and 3rd pillar of the bridge were destroyed. Again the bridge was rebuilt, but not until after the Vietnam war ended in 1975.