A moon bridge is a pedestrian bridge, of which the semicircular arch completes a full circle through its reflection in the water and reminds of the full moon. In the old days, the high arch especially, served the purpose for barges to comfortably pass through underneath. Moon bridges originate in the Asian culture and were often built in Japanese and Chinese gardens. The mostly used materials were wood, stone and metal.
The moon bridge of the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco, was built in 1894, as part of the »California Midwinter International Exposition«. It was built in Japan and then shipped to the US. It is still one of the main attractions in the Tea Garden.
A widespread photograph in the Internet is the picture »Landscape Painting« (山水畫) by the photographer bbe022001, which represents a moon bridge in the Dahu Park in Taipei, Taiwan that was built in 1979. The atmosphere of this photograph contains an exceptional magic – as if penetrated by moonlight.
Another moon bridge is the Jade Belt Bridge in the Summer Palace in Beijing, China. It was built in the 18th century (1751–1764) and was also called »camel back bridge«, because of the slightly hump-shaped arch. This design was chosen to enable the passage of the dragon boat, of the then Qianlong Emperor (1711–1799).
Moon bridges are fascinating structures that affect us, because of their simplicity and esthetics of their symmetry. It must certainly be a special experience to observe them in the moonlight.