World’s Longest Hanging Bridge
The Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge
In Switzerland hikers are taken very seriously. What used to be a long hike from Zermatt to Graeschen taking up to 4 hours is nowadays a walk of barely 10 minutes. It’s all thanks to a bridge, called the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge, or the Europabrücke, which opened in July 2017. The bridge is free of charge to cross.
The Europabrücke / Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge
The bridge measures 1,640ft or 494m and is the longest hanging pedestrian bridge in the world. It hangs up to 85m above the Grabengufer ravine at Randa. The previous record for the longest bridge was held by the 405m Reutte bridge in Austria – although the Austrian bridge is higher, hanging 110m above the ground.
Europaweg hiking trail Zermatt – Graeschen
Situated on the Europaweg hiking trail which connects the villages of Zermatt and Graechen the bridge offers the most spectacular views over the beautiful Swiss landscape and in particular of the Matterhorn, Weisshorn and Bernese Alps. It helps to have a head for heights though as the bridge is single file and walking across you can see right through to the valley below – a long way down!!! The bridge, however, is super stable and the cabling alone weighs eight tonnes!
Circular Hiking Trail Across Bridge
You may also be interested in a circular hiking trail which follows a loop from Randa train station. Simply follow the signposts to “Europabrücke” from Randa through the forest to the “Hohtschugga” viewing point and on to the the world-record holding bridge. After crossing the bridge you can continue in a loop back to Randa.
After crossing the bridge you might like to take a detour to see the Europa Hütte which was built in 1998-99 and stands on stilts.
Constructed in Record Time by Swissrope
Not only the length of the bridge is record-breaking, but also the time when it was built. The bridge was constructed by the Swiss company Swissrope from Bern who built the bridge in just 10 weeks – an amazing achievement.
To Reach The Bridge
Do bear in mind however, that it takes two to two and a half hours to reach the bridge on foot from Randa. Hiking from either Grächen or from Zermatt is a more serious hike, taking 6 to 7 hours!
So next time you’re in the Zermatt area and face a hike and a walk over a record breaking bridge, why not give it a go?
Dates Of Operation
Please note that the bridge is only open from May to October. Also you should avoid crossing the bridge during storms for fear of lightning.
For more information please click here to see a map of the location.
Video and top photo courtesy of Swissrope
All other photos courtesy of Zermatt Tourismus