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01st May 2021

World’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge opens in Portugal

Danny Jones

The record-breaking bridge spans 516 metres of Portugal’s Arouca Geopark.

The world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge has been unveiled at the Arouca Geopark in Portugal. It runs for a total of 516 metres between two mountains and hangs 175 metres, or 1,692 feet, above the region’s fast-flowing River Paiva.

As you can see in The Guardian’s video tour below, it truly is an impressive feat of engineering and perhaps most static images don’t do it justice. As such, a swathe of people from the town of Arouca gathered for the official opening ceremony on Sunday to take the first steps across the bridge.

Hugo Xavier was the first person to take make the inaugural journey across the new world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge, which now surpasses the Charles Kuonen Bridge in the municipality of Randa, located among the Swiss Alps, which measures at 494 metres and has held the record since 2017.

Xavier said that, at first, “I was a little afraid, but it was so worth it,” and described the crossing as “extraordinary, a unique experience” and “an adrenaline rush”.

Fellow vertigo-sufferer, Rui Brandao, recommended not looking down when crossing.

We can see what Rui means…

Arouca 516 suspension bridge

The bridge is now being referred to as, simply, ‘516 Arouca’ and will no doubt attract tourists from all around the world when international travel fully resumes. Arouca’s mayor, Margarida Belem, told AFPTV that the bridge would be a “fundamental attraction”.

A local tour guide went on to describe the additions as “a breath of fresh air for our land because it will attract more investment, more people” and “will bring a new dynamic to Arouca”.

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