China unveils tallest and longest glass bridge

23 Aug 2016 | By Supriya Kaur

A vertigo-inducing glass bridge, suspended 300 metres above the ground is now finally open to the public.

Spanning a length of 430 metres, it sits suspended above a valley and connects two mountains in the Hunan Province.

Designed by an Israeli architect Haim Dotan, the glass-bottomed walkway can accommodate 800 people at one go and a maximum of 8000 people in a day!

In context: China: Pushing the boundaries of modern construction

AboutZhangjiajie, Hunan Province

Zhangjiajie is a city in Hunan Province, where the Wulingyuan Scenic Area is located.

Wulingyuan's striking landscape, dotted with 3000 sandstone pillars and peaks, 40 caves and natural bridges was designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1992.

The Zhangjiajie skywalk has been unveiled amidst this splendour of ravines, waterfalls and gorges.

It will now also offer the world's highest bungee jump.

SafetySledgehammers ok; Stilettos not so much!

Earlier this year, prior to the official opening, the glass bridge was pounded with sledgehammers to demonstrate its invincibility.

A Volvo SUV with passengers was also driven over the 20 feet wide bridge although the bridge is open only for foot-traffic.

End-to-end 99 triple layered glass panels make up the bridge which although exceptionally durable is banned for those wearing stilettos!

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Inspiration for Avatar

DetailsInspiration for Avatar

The tallest glass bridge opened in Zhangjiajie park; one of the summits was reportedly the inspiration for the magical 'floating peaks' in the 2009 Hollywood blockbuster Avatar.

Chinese media reports indicated that a Hollywood photographer had taken pictures of these scenic mountainous ranges in 2008 which were eventually used in the film.

These mountains are now popularly known as the 'Avatar Mountains'.

23 Aug 2016China unveils tallest and longest glass bridge

Famous Skywalks

The Grand Canyon glass walkway, a horseshoe-shaped bridge on the edge of a canyon in Arizona, U.S., stands at 219 metres. The Canadian Glacier Skywalk Alberta is a tad shy of 300 metres in height but extends 35 metres from the cliff in suspended animation.

DetailsChina's fascination with glass walkways

The Hunan Province, has another glass walkway standing at 180 metres above a sheer drop. It's known as 'Haohan Qiao' or the 'Brave Men's Bridge'. Its glass panes are 25 times stronger than normal glass.

In September 2015, a glass walkway was unveiled that jutted out from the side of a mountain. In less than a month, the glass shattered leaving tourists terrified.