London Bridge, or where London Bridge used to be, spans the Thames connecting the city of London and Southwark. The current London Bridge was opened for public use in 1973; it replaced the previous bridge, which was 600 years old. The old bridge was moved to Lake Havasu, Arizona. The original London Bridge was built between 1176 and 1209. It constructed unevenly and needed repairs frequently over the six hundred years that it crossed the Thames. For a period between 1306 and 1660 the southern end of the bridge was used to display the severed and tarred heads of traitors and criminals of the state. During the 1800s it was realized that the original bridge was not built to allow large boats to pass under it and a new bridge was constructed. This bridge also had its problems because it was not built to withstand the weight of cars passing over it, and it soon started to sink into the ground. In 1967 the London Bridge went up for sale and was bought for 2.4 million dollars and shipped to America. The current London Bridge was built between 1967 and 1972, and is 928 feet long. It was built in the exact place as the previous London Bridge and still stands today.
Tower Bridge was opened on April 22, 1886 and took eight years to construct. Its famous towers are 213 feet high, and the bridge is a combined suspension and bascule bridge. It is often referred to as the London Bridge, but this is not its correct name. It is sometimes referred to as the London Bridge because it appears on many posters and post cards of London, and because of its flashy appearance. The bridge gets its name from the proximity to the Tower of London. It is easy to confuse the two because the London Bridge is the next bridge up stream and is not nearly as tall or as magnificent as the Tower Bridge. The bridge is currently painted red, white, and blue, and was painted for Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee. Originally it was painted a green-blue color. At one point it was even thought that the buyer of the London Bridge thought he was buying the tower bridge because people are constantly confusing the two, but this myth was later put down because the buyer of the London Bridge said that this was not true and was backed up by the seller who said that he knew what bridge he was buying.
The Thames is a very important part of London, and so are the bridges that cross it. Both London Bridge and Tower Bridge are very prominent and many people use them each day. Though the bridges get confused they are both important in their own ways as landmarks. The original London bridge which is in Arizona and the one in London are both important, like the Tower Bridge, as major icons of London.