Sometimes a sight for airshows, it's an everyday spectacle for those commuting into San Fransisco.
In the sun Golden Gate Bridge appears really golden, during foggy days its towers stick out of the clouds and the hardest test so far - the 1989 earthquake - it survived without any noteworthy damages. It's THE monument of the city. At the beginning of the 20th Century even courageous engineers considered it impossible to build a bridge where the Golden Gate Bridge is standing now. The "Golden Gate" was named as such by Captain Freemont in 1848 because it reminded him of the Golden Horn in Istanbul - however this Golden Gate certainly is of different dimensions than the little estuary of the Bosporus. At the deepest spot the ground is only reached at 97m and the forces of ebb and flow are many thousand times stronger than the light tides of the strait between the Mediterranean and Black Sea. San Francisco's city fathers however already commissioned a study for the construction of a bridge back in 1918. On January 5th, 1933 the groundbreaking ceremony was celebrated under supervision of chief engineer Joseph B. Strauss and about 4 years later on May 27th, 1937 the construction was finished. An undisputed engineering marvel that took its toll: $35 million in cost and the lives of eleven construction workers - 19 builders survived thanks to safety nets.
Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge, measuring about 2,7km in length - the ramps onto and off the bridge included. The suspension part alone measures 1966m. It's held by steel cables, which if you lined them up in a row would make it around the globe 3 times at a total length of 128,000km (80,000 miles). The two main towers of the bridge are 227m high and the road is running 67m above the sea. On the Southern ramp to the bridge stands a statue of Joseph B. Strauss who died one year after finishing his masterpiece. On May 28th, 1937 he wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle: »The bridge that nobody would be able to build, that nobody would approve and support, the bridge for which there wouldn't be enough traffic to justify it, the bridge that would be a brutal interference with the natural beauty of the Bay…this bridge you now see in all its majestic glory right in front of you!«