Remember that glass-bottomed suspension bridge completed last year in China? That was the longest pedestrian suspension bridge, spanning 430 meters traversing the vast Zhangjiajie Canyon in Hunan province. It has a 300 meters drop beneath it.
But that bridge doesn’t hold the record anymore after a much longer one opened this year.
In July 29, the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge, also called as Europabrücke (Europe Bridge), has been opened to the public in Switzerland.
Photo by Europaweg
Spanning a record-breaking 494 meters long, it runs 86 meters above the ground at its highest point in the Swiss Alps near the village of Randa. The steel bridge connects Grächen and Zermatt on the Europaweg foot trail.
Making this suspension bridge took the engineers Swissrope and Lauber cableways just 10 weeks to erect.
The world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge runs between 1,600 and 2,200 meters above sea level. It is only 65 centimeters wide, taking 10 minutes to cross – but could be longer if you decide to take pictures along the way.
Photo by Europaweg
And why not? It offers incredible views of the Matterhorn, Weisshorn, and the Bernese Alps in the distance.
The Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge, which was named after its chief sponsor who is a psychologist and co-owner of a Swiss winery, serves as a replacement to a previous bridge which was damaged by rock falls.
According to Daniel Luggen, director of Zermatt Tourism, the thrill experienced high over the precipice is “indescribable.”
Photos by Europaweg
Without the bridge, people have to go through a difficult hike which lasts for three to four hours, said Edith Zweifel, a spokesperson for the travel board.
Because of its height over a valley, the office of tourism in Zermatt recommended that those with a strong feat of heights should not even attempt to cross the bridge. At least you have been warned.