The Czech Republic welcomes the first visitors to the world’s longest suspension bridge


Fear and excitement were among the first feelings felt when the first tourists took to the world’s longest suspension footbridge, spanning a mountainous valley in the Czech Republic.

“We came here because we love adrenaline,” hiker Michaela Klestilova said as she approached the 721-meter walkway, suspended 95 meters above the ground at its highest point and open to the public. friday.

“We have walked this far, and now we seek our reward.”

Named Sky Bridge 721, it took two years to build, at a cost of 200 million crowns (C$10.8 million), and is suspended by six main support ropes and 60 wind ropes.

People cross the newly constructed Sky Bridge 721 after it officially opened in the Czech Republic on Friday. (David W. Cerny/Reuters)

It sits over 1,100 meters above sea level and connects two mountain ranges in the northeastern region of the country, 200 kilometers from Prague and near the border with Poland.

The bridge tops the 516 meter Arouca Bridge in Portugal, which was previously the longest suspended footbridge.

The new Czech bridge is not without criticism.

The regional director of the Czech Nature Conservation Agency, Michal Servus, told Czech television this week that the bridge had caused problems for the protection of surrounding areas and changed the character of the area.

The suspension bridge is seen in a photo taken on Thursday – the day before the crossing opened to the public. (Petr David Josek/Associated Press)

Officials hope it will boost tourism in the area by providing a different look at the forest landscape.

“For me, it’s a great sight,” said Michal Hofirek, the bridge’s first visitor.