China opened to the public this Saturday the highest and longest glass bridge in the world, 430 meters long and 300 high, in the natural park of Zhangjiajie, which inspired the Hallelujah Mountains of the movie “Avatar.”
Designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan, the six-meter wide bridge joins two gorges of Tianmen Mountain (“Gate of Heaven”) through 99 panels formed of three layers of glass, and is prepared to circulate on it up to 800 people.
Builders recently confirmed their resistance by circulating on the bridge a truck with two tons, and asked several people chattering on the floor with hammers to demonstrate their toughness.
The work, which cost 22,500 million yuan (about 2.9 million euros), was completed last May, five months later than planned due to heavy rains that fell in the region.
With this bridge, the central province of Hunan, much visited by Chinese tourists to be the homeland of Mao Zedong, seeks to bring more visitors to one of its main natural jewels, the Zhangjiajie park.
The mixture of karst forms – with more than three thousand stone columns – with the vegetation of subtropical forests earned him recognition as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1992 and inspired the director of “Avatar”, James Cameron, the idealization of mountains that appear in the film.
Walk through the transparent bridge can be more like the experience of “float” over the mountains, although not suitable for people with vertigo.
The Zhangjiajie bridge is not the first glass bridge built in China, where these attractions have become very popular.
There are about a dozen scattered through the mountainous areas of the country where each province competing to attract hundreds of thousands of Chinese tourists wandering each year by the national geography.