Bridges can become more than something merely to cross to get from one side of a river or gorge to another. Many are travel attractions in themselves, because of their historical interest, special beauty, unusual size or strategic or scenic location.

Among the world's notable bridges:

* Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco (1937): Graceful in design, unrivaled in setting, it is a sometimes playful California landmark, peeking from a wispy Pacific fog.

* Bridge of Sighs, Venice (17th century): A delicately ornamented stone passageway leading from the Doges' Palace in Piazza San Marco to a prison across a canal. So the story goes, the sighs of condemned prisoners could be heard from its windows.

* Pont D'Avignon, Avignon, France (12th century): A fine example of a medieval stone bridge, its beautiful elliptical arches no longer completely span the Rhone River.

* Kintai-Kyo Bridge, Iwakuni, Japan (1673): Five timbered arches leapfrog from stone bases across the Nishiki River, which flows between two wooded hillsides. It offers elegance, simplicity and practicality.

* Navajo Bridge, Page, Ariz. (1929): For the view. The narrow bridge crosses Marble Canyon (leading into Grand Canyon National Park), the closest auto route between the park's north and south rims. Some 460 feet below, between sheer red cliffs, rushes the Colorado River. White-water rafters sweep by on summer mornings.

* Charles Bridge, Prague (14th century): A splendid Renaissance bridge across the Vlkava River, it is lined with a wonderful parade of baroque religious statues.

* Ponte Vecchio, Florence (1345): The famous bridge over the Arno, delighting travelers for centuries with its fine gold and jewelry shops.