In keeping with my tour of the bridges of Washington, DC (which I grew up loving), here’s another bridge there which is absolutely lovely but so understated and refined that it is practically invisible to the locals: The Arlington Memorial Bridge
It leads from the Lincoln Memorial (another reason the bridge doesn’t get attention, it respects the the magnificent memorials it connects) across the Potomac to Arlington National Cemetery. It also hides a wonderful secret, as noted in the Atlas.
It’s design draws inspiration from Napoleon’s “Pont au Change” in Paris, so much so that when I visited Paris I was taken aback when I suddenly saw this bridge:
Notice how Napolean’s massive “N” wreaths are, in the American version, replaced with giant bald eagles, evoking the seal of the United States. It, too, connects to the center of the French government, on the Ile de la Cite. (The designer of Washington was the great Frenchman, Pierre L’Enfant.)
It also bears a strong resemblance to another grand bridge to a national seat of power, The Old London Bridge which… hilariously… now sits astride a desert bound lake in Lake Havasu, Arizona, as told… in the Atlas!