Stretching across the Avon River at the end of the Cashel Street Mall, the Bridge of Remembrance was built in 1923 to honor the men who bravely fought in World War I. Hundreds of soldiers have since marched on its stones, and today, the arcing bridge is viewed by many as the center of Christchurch.
But the bridge has come to represent more—in 2011, Christchurch was hit with a major earthquake that damaged both the Bridge of Remembrance and the accompanying Triumphal Arch. The bridge was closed to the public, with the two lion figures symbolizing the British Empire atop the arch among the most heavily damaged pieces,. For three years engineers worked to strengthen the structure, bringing it back to its former glory to serve as not only a stoic reminder of the bravery of Canterbury’s troops, but also of Christchurch's steely sense of resolve to rebuild.
The site is a peaceful spot in the center of downtown, often seen on city sightseeing tours and popular for picnics overlooking the river. For a patriotic and moving event, visit the bridge on Anzac Day to honor the soldiers who've fallen.
While it's possible to spot the Bridge of Remembrance independently, it’s best visited as part of a guided city tour. Whether visiting by double-decker bus or touring the city on bicycle, local guides can detail just how special the bridge is to the city.