A famous bridge built by a famous Frenchman
Hué in the central coastal region of Vietnam is a beautiful town dissected by the famous and beautiful Perfume River. The river gets its name from the blossoms that fall from orchards to the north of the city in the autumn. These float down the river scenting the air with their wonderful aroma. The river slips quietly through the city and the citizens and holiday makers get the benefit of this delightful scent every year.
When The French Colonial rulers were in charge they needed a bridge to traverse this broad waterway. They called on no less a designer than Gustave Eiffel. It is not hard to guess the steel would be the main component of the bridge. The design is of six independent arched sections, each supported on concrete pillars sunk into the river bed. It is about four hundred and forty yards long.
An iconic design that has stood the test of time
There are no less than ten bridges spanning the Perfume River but none has managed to earn such iconic status as Eiffel’s Truong Tien Bridge. Imposing and dynamic by day, illuminated at night it becomes a superb tourist attraction. This is by no means, simply a land mark, it is the busiest of all the bridges. Dong Ba Market to the north side and Nguyen Dinh Chieu walking street night market to the south, make sure of that. The hotel Saigon Morin overlooks the bridge and rooms with a bridge view come at a premium. This has become as much a part of the city as any other building or structure here.
The Bridge is noted for posterity in the Annual of Unified Great Nam by “The office of Vietnam History” of the Nguyen Dynasty, which notes, “the metal bridge Trang Tien in the south east of the Capital commenced to be built in the 9th year of King Thanh Thai (1897) and then finished in 1899.”.The traffic does get more than a little chaotic in the rush hour however. Severe Jams are not unusual and crossing by motorbike in the rush can be a nerve jangling experience to say the least.