Rainbow Bridge - Different Types of Rainbow Bridge
originally referred only to a structure from Norse mythology, a fabled
Bifrost, but after many centuries the term rainbow bridge became closely
connected with numerous man-made structures, natural structures, and works
As its name suggests, the term “rainbow bridge” is connected with the natural phenomenon of rainbow, often being represented in
manmade structures or works of art that exhibit perfectly smooth and arcing
rainbow-like form, bridge-like structure colored the same way as a rainbow,
or in some cases, the mere visual spectacle of an impressive structure can
earn it the name of a “rainbow bridge”. Sometimes, Bible quotes that
describe the heavens can also provide inspiration for naming a rainbow
In the Norse myths, rainbow bridge Bifrost was also
defined by a presence of “instability,” “trembling effect” and presence of
supernatural effects of fire and magic. Some artists have incorporated
these effects into their fictional rainbow bridge-like structures.
Additionally, the core ability of a Norse Bifrost was connecting our real
world with the supernatural realm of the gods. This feature of Bifrost is
heavily exploited in the numerous works of art, including poems, paintings,
novels, movies, theatre, comics and other.
Man-made Rainbow Bridges
Over the last century, several bridges received name Rainbow Bridge, either
because of their perceived similarity to the Nordic myth bridge Bifrost or
because of their impressive size, design or illumination.
Rainbow Bridge - Kansas
An old 1923 bridge that spans Brush Creek near Riverton,
Kansas has never impressed anyone with its size, but its design of a single
segmented arch immediately made people think about rainbows. Initially,
part of the now former U.S. Route 66, this country road was placed on the
United States National Register of Historic Places in 1983 as a notable
Kansas state landmark. While the bridge was covered in graffiti for most of
its life, it was recently repainted into white.
Rainbow Bridge (Niagara Falls)
The city of Niagara Falls is famous not only for its natural wonders but
also because of their impressive Rainbow Bridge that
connects two halves of the city located in Ontario, Canada and New
York, United States
. Built during 1941 as the replacement of the old Honeymoon Bridge that
collapsed in 1983, the majestic arch of the Rainbow Bridge immediately made
it one of the most impressive bridges in the entire world. The name Rainbow
Bridge was not initially an official one, but it became so after a decade
of usage by city residents. Origin of this name can be traced to the
engraving of the bible passage on the Canadian side of the bridge that
referenced as “bow in the clouds. The bridge received such nickname even
during its construction.
Rainbow Bridge – Oxford
Not all bridges named by mythical Bifrost need to be large and majestic. A
tasteful execution of simple design can also easily give bridge everything
that it needs to become iconic and remembered. One of such bridges is a
small curved footbridge over the River Cherwell in the University Parks,
Oxford, England. Constructed in 1923-4 by unemployed workers under the
commission of the University of Oxford and others, this bridge features a
single concrete arch with metal railings, very much resembling a shape of a
The area of Oxford, England, features not one, but two Rainbow Bridges!
This second one is also built for pedestrian foot traffic
but is older and visually more appealing than its newer brother. It is
located near the village of Binsey in Oxford, England, and its
single-arched iron design that reaches 3 meters in the air dates all the
way back to 1865. The bridge was restored in 1997 when a new plaque was
added confirming its name as a Rainbow Bridge.
Rainbow Bridge - Texas
The area of Port Arthur in Texas, United States features one of the most
impressive bridges in the United States that spans large Neches River.
Built to be a part of State Highway 87 and State Highway 73, one of the
main features of this bridge are its highly elevated design and an
impressive main 210-meter span that allows unusually high vertical
clearance below the main deck of 54 meters. This allowed the nearby
Bethlehem Steel Beaumont Shipyard to become the main source of production
of large and very tall offshore drilling rigs. As of 1997, Rainbow Bridge
handles only westbound traffic, while eastbound is routed to the
accompanying Veterans Memorial Bridge cable-stayed bridge.
Rainbow Bridge - Tokyo
Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo
is an example of majestic engineering that immediately captured the
imagination and support of anyone who has seen it in person. Located in the
Tokyo Bay and connecting the Shibaura Pier and the Odaiba waterfront in
Minato, Tokyo, Japan, this 798-meter-long bridge has three main spans, with
the central cable-stayed span of 570 meters and water clearance of 49
meters. Two white towers of the bridge were designed to blend in into the
look of the nearby Tokyo, and built-in nighttime illumination of the bridge
can paint the entire structure in rainbow-like patterns of colors. While it
is officially called "
Shuto Expressway No. 11 Daiba Route - Port of Tokyo Connector
”, the public immediately named it “Rainbow Bridge.”
Rainbow Bridge - La Conner, Washington
The US state of Washington also has its own Rainbow Bridge. It is a simple
but visually very appealing deck arch bridge that spans the Swinomish
Channel in Skagit County between Fidalgo Island and La Conner. Built during
1957 from steel, this red-painted bridge has a total length of 242.9 meters
(796.9 ft.) and a single span of 176.80 meters (580.1 ft.). Its central
arch starts directly at the shore of the channel, goes up to the decking
level and in a big arch all the way to the other shore. The arch very much
resembles a rainbow.
Natural Rainbow Bridges
Natural processes can also create structures that very much resemble
bridges and rainbows. While such structures are often rare, each of them
instantly attracts the attention of the public and the efforts for their
preservation. Natural rainbow bridges created out of stone are known to
exist in several places across the world, but they can also be created out
of other less durable materials such as ice and dirt.
Rainbow Bridge National Monument
The area of the Navaho Mountains in Glen Canyon National
Recreation Area, southern Utah, United States is famous for numerous
heritage sites and natural structures, including the presence of stone
bridge structure that is named Rainbow Bridge. Created out of stone that
was naturally molded by weather and erosion phenomenon, this stone
structure has a reported span of 234 feet (71 m), it reaches 42 feet (13 m)
high and has a thickness of 33 feet (10 m) at the very top. The history of
this object is closely connected with the heritage of some Native American tribes. Because of it,
the Rainbow Bridge structure and the area around it have been designed a
Traditional Cultural Property by the National Park Service in 1910. The
bridge is visited by more than 80 thousand tourists each year.
Supernatural Rainbow Bridges
The theme of supernatural bridges can be noted in several
cultures and beliefs, modern culture, art, and multimedia. The defining
version of this supernatural structure is traced from the writings and
archeological findings in Scandinavia and its fabled Bifrost. Today, the
influence of Bifrost is present in almost all other supernatural bridges of
similar type, with the theme of the rainbow and connecting of the physical
and spiritual realm being one of the most common.
is an important part of Nordic mythology and is the most
popular supernatural bridge in our history. It is mentioned numerous times
in the European Middle Ages writings, preserved songs and from and
surviving archeological writings from even earlier periods, and has served
as an inspiration for naming of many other real and supernatural rainbow
Described as a shimmering or transparent bridge made out of rainbow colors,
often imbued with the supernatural power, this bridge serves as a
connection point between our world and the land of the gods called Asgard.
The myths surrounding the bridge tell of the time when the bridge would be
destroyed during the apocalyptic events of the Ragnarok – the final battle
between the gods of Nordic mythology.
Rainbow Bridge – Pets
Rainbow bridges are not only present in supernatural myths or as the name
of numerous real-world bridges and natural formations. It is also present
in literature, and one of the most famous examples of it can be found in
the poems that are connected to the afterlife of pets. In it, spirits of
pets are described as being allowed to travel via a rainbow bridge to a
perfect afterlife world, where they can play and live forever happy, in
some versions, even being able to reunite with their owners before leaving
to live together in heaven.
The popularity of this literary creation was fueled with two creations from
the 1980s and 1990s – a short rainbow bridge pet story created by an
unknown author, and a popular poem that was written by Steve and Diane
Bodofsky. Immediately after their publication, the story about the rainbow
bridge for pets gained worldwide popularity, spawning many other works of
art, most notably paintings, poems, short stories and items associated with
Rainbow Bridge from Along the River During the Qingming Festival
Many works of art have used the visual motif of bridges to showcase the
historical scenes that are captured on canvas, walls, carvings or other
mediums. One of the best examples of this can be found in the incredible
panoramic painting created on a large scroll by Chinese Song dynasty artist Zhang Zeduan (1085–1145).
This 25.5 cm × 525 cm (10.0 in × 207 in) panoramic painting made on a
handscroll has captured a moment in time in and around the city of the
Northern Song era capital city Bianjing (present-day Kaifeng). The scene
showcases the festive spirit and worldly commotion at the Qingming
Festival, covering the look at the densely populated city streets of
Bianjing city on the left side of the scroll, and the countryside on the
right side, with numerous scenes of celebrations, economic activities, and
ordinary scenes from life across this entire work of art.
In the middle of the image, just outside the city gates is the location of
the famous great Rainbow Bridge (known as Hong Qiao or in some cases
Shangtu Bridge). It is represented as a single-arched bridge across the
calm river. On the bridge itself are not only passengers but also,
similarly as in medieval European bridges, numerous vendors, and sellers,
their stalls, and wares.
Today, “Along the River During the Qingming Festival” is praised as the
most famed work of art from the Chinese Song dynasty. During the following
centuries, many Chinese emperors commissioned creations of copies in both
original and enlarged sizes, some being visually faithful to the original
and some depicting brand-new scenes of life from the Chinese history. The
painting was also immortalized by poems.