The Bosphorus Bridge is one of two bridges that cross the Bosphorus Strait and is always known as the 'first bridge'. The crossing of the Bosphorus just like the Dardanelles has always been an important crossing for centuries and been the cause of many conflicts through the ages.
The first recorded crossing was built during the reign of Darius I The Great of Persia (522 BC - 485 BC), a simple pontoon bridge that crossed the Dardanelles formerly known as Hellespont. It was not until 1957 that a permanent crossing was proposed by the then Prime Minister of Turkey, Adnan Mendes. The Bosphorous Bridge began construction in 1970 and was completed on 30th October 1973 at a cost of US$200 million!
In the first four years of operation pedestrians were allowed to cross, using elevators in the towers. Today no pedestrians are allowed and surprisingly no trucks! For just a few days a year in October pedestrians are allowed in the Intercontinental Istanbul Eurasia Marathon Many people bring picnics and spend the day just on the bridge soaking up the views.
Since April 2007 the Bosphorus Bridge comes alive with a computerised light system that randomly changes colours and patterns.
During the day the backdrop is the amazing site of the minarets and domes of the Blue Mosque and not forgetting the spectacle that is the Hagia Sophia.