Why Is Sydney Harbour Bridge Called The “Coat Hanger”?

The Sydney Harbour Bridge has become famous across the world for being an Australian national heritage site, as well as an immaculate piece of architecture. Folks come from across the world to visit the harbour and marvel at this massive steel structure.

Standing a massive 439.6ft (134m) above sea level, the bridge is renowned for being a hub for Sydney’s traffic. It’s hard to drive, walk, bike, or take public transit in the city, without being tempted to take the trip across the bridge. Despite its literal name, the bridge has been nicknamed the “Coat Hanger” by Australian citizens.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge was nicknamed the “Coat Hanger” due to the physical and aesthetic view of the bridge. When looking at the bridge, the arch-based design along with the straight roadways underneath appear to have the same shape as a coat hanger you would find in your closet.

Nicknames and abbreviations are incredibly common and popular in Australian culture. This can be seen across the country with many locations and landmarks, but also in the way that Australians communicate with one another.

Many feel that this may be a form of laziness, however, Australians view this as a way to form commonality, as it brings citizens together in a way that often only they can understand. Because of this, there is no shock to the fact that the Sydney Harbour Bridge has also received a nickname from Australian citizens.

Because of this, the funny nickname for the bridge was born and has since become commonly known throughout Australia.

It’s worth mentioning that aside from the nickname the “Coat Hanger“, the bridge is also occasionally referred to as the “Iron Lung” and the “Cathedral of Steel“. These nicknames are also attributed to the shape and structural materials associated with the bridge.

Why Is Sydney Harbour Bridge Famous?

There is a multitude of reasons why the Sydney Harbour Bridge is considered to be so incredibly famous. From an Australian perspective, this is arguably the most famous roadway in the country. Because this bridge carries a roadway and the rail line, if it were to ever shut down, the city itself would too.

Whether it be by car, bus, rail, walking, or biking, to travel from one side of the city to the other, one will have to cross this bridge. At the same time, until the metro line is complete in its entirety, it is the only rail line linking the north side of the harbour to the south side – the next closest rail line is well over 10km away.

This makes the Sydney Harbour Bridge abundantly famous, merely for the fact that it is a necessary and important aspect of Sydney residents’ day-to-day lives.

For many, this bridge is also thought to be a symbol of returning home to Australia. Whether one is flying into the city or catching a cruise ship, once you see the famous “Coat Hanger” in the distance, you know that you’ve safely arrived home.

Moreover, whether you are a domestic Australian resident or a foreigner, the bridge is a sheer symbol of beauty and perfectionist architecture. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is known for being the largest bridge of its shape in the world, sitting overtop of one of the most gorgeous natural harbours.

No matter where one is located in the northern part of downtown, you can see the bridge in the background. This all leaves the bridge and its surroundings being one of the most photographed landmarks in the world.

Aside from everything that’s been mentioned, this Sydney Harbour Bridge is famous for its extraordinary tourist destination. this has a lot to do with the fact that folks are able to take part in the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb. This fantastic experience involves a guided walk up and over the bridges’ steep arches.

This walk is beyond famous for the spectacular views that climbers will witness. Since the bridge walk first launched in October of 2008, over four million people have taken on the opportunity.

What Flags Are On Top Of The Sydney Harbour Bridge?

There are now three flags that are flown atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge year-round. These flags include the Australian flag, the New South Wales state flag, and the Australian Aboriginal flag. The Aboriginal flag was a recent addition, but an incredibly important one.

The flag was placed on the bridge to showcase a level of healing and reconciliation toward Australia’s indigenous populations. This was considered to be a very small price for the government to pay, in order to take a step towards a greater sense of unification amongst all Australian peoples.

Additional Interesting Facts About The Sydney Harbour Bridge

Considering that the Sydney Harbour BridgeOpens in a new tab. is so famous and renowned, information in regards to it is not complete without some phenomenal and interesting facts!

One of the most interesting facts bout the bridge has to do with the grey colour that it was painted. At the time, the copious amount of paint that was required was only available in a single shade. So, whether it was intended to be or not – there was only one choice but to paint the bridge grey.

Another fascinating fact is how the bridge was designed to hold immense weight, but even more so how it was tested out. To test out the weight that the bridge could possibly hold, ninety-six locomotivesOpens in a new tab. were placed in various places along the bridge. This was the sort of weight-bearing test that had never been seen before and astounded people across the world.

Unfortunately, like the building of many massive pieces of architecture, the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge did not come without its bit of tragedy. During the years of construction, sixteen men lost their lives – all from various accidents while on the job.

At the same time, as many as eight hundred families living in the area where the bridge needed to be built were entirely dispersed. This was all done without any form of compensation or relocation assistance, leaving many homeless and living on the streets of Sydney.


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