Øresund Bridge: The bridge that connects Sweden and Denmark

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson has suggested building a bridge spanning the English Channel, connecting Britain and France. Perhaps he’s forgotten about the far more practical tunnel which already exists. But the idea of connecting two countries by a bridge isn’t as barmy as it might sound.

Øresund Bridge

Credit: Nick-D (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Øresund (or Öresund or Oresund) Bridge connects the Swedish city of Malmö with the Danish city of Copenhagen. Admittedly, it’s a lot shorter than the English Channel Bridge would need to be – it’s only five miles long. And it doesn’t actually extend all the way between the two countries.

The bridge itself runs from the coast of Sweden to an artificial island called Peberholm, and continues with the Drogden Tunnel which connects to the Danish island of Amager.

If you’re wondering where the bridge’s name come from – that’s easy. It crosses the Øresund strait (which translates into English as the Sound). And the name of the artificial island of Peberholm (which translates to Pepper Islet) was picked to complement the nearby Saltholm (Salt Islet) which is just to the north.

Øresund Bridge

Credit: Koosha Paridel (CC BY-SA 3.0)

“Hang on a second, why didn’t they just tunnel all the way through? Or build the bridge to span the entire strait?”, you ask. Well, two reasons – they didn’t want to interfere with air traffic from Copenhagen Airport, which is right nearby, and they also wanted to avoid ice floes from blocking the strait.

I first heard about the Øresund Bridge thanks to the great Scandinavian TV series imaginatively named The Bridge (Broen in Danish and Bron in Swedish). The drama starts when a body is discovered on the very middle of the bridge, forcing the Swedish and Danish police departments to work together. Give it a watch if you can handle the subtitles.

Do you know of any other countries linked by a bridge? Let us know in the comments.

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About Dom Stapleton

Dom Stapleton

As well as being the world’s northernmost capital city, Reykjavik in Iceland is also an incredible place to visit.

We stayed in a hotel right in the middle of the city and spent most days walking around from there. The main thing we noticed (apart from the cold, of course) was that the people are so friendly. At home, trying to cross the road is a nightmare, but in Reykjavik, the cars are literally queuing up to let you across.

When my partner and I went, in January 2013, the sun only started rising at about 10 am, which was a strange experience. And it got dark at about 4 pm each day!

Dom works in our marketing team

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