Long Biên Bridge

The Long Biên Bridge (Cầu Long Biên) is a historic cantilever bridge across the Red River opened in 1902, that connects the two districts Hoàn Kiếm and Long Biên of the city of Hanoi in Vietnam. Originally called the Paul-Doumer Bridge, named after the Governor-General of French Indochina and then-French president Paul Doumer, it was of strategic importance in securing control of northern Vietnam for the French colonial government. During the Second Indochina War (1955-1975), it was heavily bombarded due to its critical position (the only bridge at that time across the Red River connecting Hanoi to the main port of Haiphong), beginning in 1967. It was rendered unusable for a year when, in May 1972, it fell victim to one of the first coordinated attacks using laser-guided “smart bombs“. The defence of Long Biên Bridge continues to play a large role in Hanoi’s self-image and is often extolled in poetry and song.