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Czech Republic welcomes 1st visitors to world’s longest suspension footbridge | CBC News

Fear and excitement were among the initial feelings as the first tourists stepped out on the world’s longest suspension footbridge, spanning a mountain valley in the Czech Republic.

“We came here because we love adrenaline,” day-hiker Michaela Klestilova said while approaching the 721-metre footbridge, which hangs 95 metres above the ground at its highest point and opened to the public on Friday.

“We came by foot up here, and now we are looking for our reward.”

Named Sky Bridge 721, it took two years to build, at a cost of 200 million crowns ($10.8 million Cdn), and is suspended by six main supporting ropes and 60 wind ropes.

People walk across the newly built Sky Bridge 721 after its official opening in Czech Republic on Friday. (David W Cerny/Reuters)

It sits at more than 1,100 metres above sea level and connects two mountain ridges in the country’s northeast region, 200 kilometres from Prague and near the border with Poland.

The bridge tops the 516-metre Arouca Bridge in Portugal, which had previously been the longest suspension footbridge.

The new Czech bridge is not without its critics.

The Czech Nature Conservation Agency’s regional director Michal Servus told Czech TV this week the bridge caused problems with protecting the surrounding areas and changed the character of the area.

view of a suspension bridge in the czech republic s dolni morava resort
The suspension bridge is seen in a photo taken Thursday — the day before the crossing opened to members of the public. (Petr David Josek/The Associated Press)

Officials hope it will boost tourism in the area by providing a different look at the forested landscape.

“For me, this is a great view,” said Michal Hofirek, the bridge’s first visitor.

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