Undoubtedly one of the most significant attributes of Istanbul’s city structure are its two crosscontinental bridges.
Farther more than transportation and access from one of the two continents to the other, these bridges represent attractions in their own, giving the city some of its unique charm and fame.
One of Istanbul’s two suspension bridges spanning the Bosphorus Strait, the Bosphorus Bridge (Turkish: Boğaziçi Köprüsü) runs from Ortaköy, in Europe to Beylerbeyi, in Anatolia.
The Bosphorus Bridge was the first bridge built across the strait. Along with the second, the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, and the ferry services the bridge is one of the principal means of transportation connecting the two sides of the city.
The idea to build a bridge across the Bosphorus was an old one. The Bosphorus Bridge’s construction began in 1970 and it first opened to the public on the 29th of October, 1973 – fifty years to the day of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey.
The bridge is an important link in the Turkish transportation network and is in use at every hour of the day. It is also an important landmark in the marathon organized every year by the Greater Istanbul Municipality (Turkish: İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi).
Outside of its importance to transportation, the bridge provides a matchless view of the Bosphorus and has become an important symbol for the city.
Istanbul’s second bridge spanning the Bosphorus, the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge (Turkish: Fatih Sultan Mehmet Köprüsü) was built between Kavacık and Hısarüstü.
Construction began in 1986 and the bridge opened on the 3rd of July, 1988. The Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge is the 14th largest steel suspension bridge in the world.
Along with the Bosphorus Bridge and the city’s ferries, the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge carries a significant portion of Istanbul’s trans-Bosphorus traffic. It has also become an unforgettable piece of the Istanbul skyline.