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A Stunning New Bridge Offers Vertiginous Views of Norway’s Best Waterfall

By Tim Chester

Aug 26, 2020

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The bridge has 99 steps and about as many photo opps.

Photo by Harald Christian Eiken

The bridge has 99 steps and about as many photo opps.

The dramatic construction is on the Norwegian Scenic Route Hardangervidda and is part of a years-long project.

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Vøringsfossen might not be on the tip of your tongue when you think of waterfalls, but it’s one of the most impressive in Norway, with countless gallons of water plunging almost 600 feet from the Hardangervidda plateau to the Måbødalen valley, around two hours’ drive east of Bergen.

Now, in that fine tradition of bridges next to waterfalls, you can admire its splendor from several new angles.

Designed by architect Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk, the new staircase bridge is 154 feet (and 99 steps) of modern construction designed to “explore the fields between architecture, technology, infrastructure, and nature,” according to the press release. That means it blends in with its surroundings and won’t fall down, presumably.

It may not be an acrophobic’s dream.

“Several conditions have influenced the shape of the bridge,” says Hølmebakk. “The construction needs to safe and solid; the bridge needs to connect with the old, historic road and the landscape and of course emphasize the views and experiences.”

Vøringsfossen sits in the Hardangerfjord region of Norway, home to the country’s largest national park and a land of fjords, glaciers, mountains, and waterfalls. A place that sounds kind of wonderful right about now. The waterfall is on the Norwegian Scenic Route Hardangervidda, a 67-km (or 42-mile) route from Haugastøl to Eidfjord. It’s been welcoming visitors for centuries, with some 1,300 stone steps built in the 1780s to make visiting easier. Several tours offer trips to the site.

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The bridge project has been ongoing since 2018, and new viewpoints and paths are scheduled to be added by 2021.

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