The Bessières Bridge

While in Lausanne, Switzerland, this summer, I enjoyed the views and photographic opportunities that the Bessières Bridge gave me. It didn’t hurt that the weather was beautiful at the time.

Pont Bessieres, Lausanne, Switzerland.
The architectural structure of Pont Bessieres can be well seen from this viewpoint.

The Bessières Bridge, the furthest upstream of the three bridges on the Flon Valley, was built from 1908 to 1910 and connects the City hill, the cantonal administrative centre, to Rue Caroline and the city’s eastern neighbourhoods. The construction of a bridge in this area had been discussed for decades.

Pont Bessieres, Lausanne, Switzerland.
The side of Pont Bessieres, Lausanne.

In 1839, the initial plan was for a suspension bridge. The banker and jeweller Charles Bessières donated 500,000 francs in 1901, and his brother Victor donated 50,000 francs in 1908 so that the work could finally begin.

Pont Bessieres, Lausanne, Switzerland.
View towards the Cathedral from Pont Bessieres, Lausanne.

In 1899, a contest awarded the work to the architect Eugène Jost. His plan featured neo-medieval turrets similar to the Cathedral at the entrances to the bridge, but it was then determined that they would be too costly. The bridge was finally adorned with 11-metre high obelisks and given a Louis 16th style to match the old neoclassical hospital nearby.

Pont Bessieres, Lausanne, Switzerland.
View of Lausanne from Pont Bessieres.

The deck has a metal arch with an 80-metre opening that leads to two stone arches. Its total length is 120 metres. As of 2008, the Bessières Bridge is home to an m2 metro station. Source: lausanne.ch

Pont Bessieres, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Early summer day on the Pont Bessieres in Lausanne.

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