Blackfriars Bridge, London

Blackfriars Bridge, London

In 1769, the first Blackfriars Bridge was inaugurated, bearing the creative touch of Robert Mylne, a talented Scottish architect who was just 26 years old at the time. Having honed his architectural skills in Rome, Mylne's design for the bridge drew inspiration from Piranesi, resulting in an elegant and classically designed construction featuring nine semi-elliptical arches crafted from Portland stone. This picturesque bridge, set against the backdrop of St. Paul's Cathedral, served as the subject of numerous 18th-century oil paintings, including William Marlow's renowned portrayal of Saint Paul's from the South Bank, which he completed in the early 1770s.

On November 6, 1869, Queen Victoria inaugurated the current Blackfriars Road Bridge, almost precisely a century after the opening of its predecessor, which had suffered irreparable masonry damage. This modern road bridge boasts five elliptical wrought-iron arches, the pioneering use of such a design aimed at avoiding cross-currents and disrupting river traffic. Towering granite piers, resembling pulpits, serve as a tribute to the ancient 13th-century Dominican monastery from which the bridge derives its name. The construction is adorned with a palette of red, white, and gold, featuring golden emblems embedded into its supports. It is said to mark the tidal turning point and is adorned with images of seabirds on the east (downstream) side and freshwater birds on the west (upstream) side. Additionally, the bridge signifies the boundary of the historic City of London, with a silver dragon statue guarding its southern landing.

In 1910, the bridge underwent expansion to accommodate trams and the increasing volume of traffic. With some 54,000 vehicles crossing it daily and spanning 105 feet, it now ranks as the widest bridge spanning the Thames in London.

Tip:
One can still observe Robert Mylne's original design depicted on decorative tiles inside the bridge's southern pedestrian subway.

***HARRY POTTER MOVIE***
Blackfriars Bridge appeared in the 2007 movie "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". It was featured in a scene where the members of the Order of the Phoenix flew beneath it during their journey from number 4, Privet Drive, to Grimmauld Place.

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Blackfriars Bridge on Map

Sight Name: Blackfriars Bridge
Sight Location: London, England (See walking tours in London)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in London, England

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 Km or 3.5 Miles

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