One of the most popular among tourists and most visited English sights is Tower Bridge in London. Even if you have never seen it before – you’ll immediately recognize this place. It appeared following the decision of the London Parliament that passed the bill on a bridge construction over the Thames in 1872: the city needed one more bridge to harmonize with the architecture of the Tower of London. So an architect Horace Jones worked out a design of a draw bridge in Gothic style.
It has two towers interconnected by few passages for tourists at the height of 42 meters over the water and 34 meters over the highway. The symbol of London also has bascules weighing 1200 tons each, they can open to form an angle of 86 degrees and to let heavy ships with carrying capacity of about 10000 tons sail beneath.
Previously, opening the bridge, rising lifts with pedestrians up and traffic regulating mechanism were all powered by hydraulic engines, working on steam under the pressure of 5-6kg/cm2, this steam was produced by four generators fueled with coal.
Today the engines of the bridge are electrically powered. When it opens a warning signal can be heard, barriers block traffic and bascules start rising slowly. All tourists and pedestrians are looking at this spectacle with delight. Then their attention is drawn by the vessel sailing under the bridge - it can be a boat, a tug or a sailfish. In some minutes and another signal heard the bridge starts closing, the barriers rise to let traffic go. But soon the bridge gets another signal to close and let a new vessel through.
Many curious people are attracted by the Museum of Tower Bridge located in the northern tower – one can get there by going up in the elevator. At the museum exhibition an electronic doll tells much interesting about the bridge, one can see the process of the bridge creation and its opening on the old pictures presented there.
Tower Bridge, being a masterpiece of architecture and the calling card of London, leaves you deeply impressed by its breathtaking panoramas which remain in your memory for long.
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