A colossal bridge that connects the city to the mainland is an impressive sight by day and by night.
Hercilio Luz Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in Brazil and one of the longest in the world. Inaugurated in 1926, the crossing was the first physical link between Santa Catarina Island and mainland Brazil. One of Florianopolis’ most famous features is now closed to traffic and pedestrians, but it is well worth visiting to see a marvel of engineering.
The impressive structure has a length of 2,697 feet (822 meters) and stands approximately 100 feet (30 meters) over the average tide. Instead of massive steel cables, chains support the traffic-carrying deck.
The bridge is named after former governor Hercilio Luz who hoped it would strengthen Florianopolis’s claim as the state capital. Up until its completion, residents relied on ferries to reach the mainland. Access to the bridge has been restricted since 1991 due to safety concerns about corrosion of the chains.
Find a good vantage point to admire and photograph the large metal structure. Many locals will tell you that one of the best places is from Luz Park, close to the bridge entrance on the Santa Catarina side. Another good viewing point is from the 18th-century Santana Fortress. Alternatively, travel under the bridge aboard a boat.
A good time to see Hercilio Luz Bridge is at sunset when the setting sun provides a stunning backdrop. Then stay by the bridge to see it lit up against the night sky. There are hundreds of lights which cover the two towers, deck and main suspension cables.
Hercilio Luz Bridge is one of three bridges that connect the two halves of Florianopolis. The other two are Pedro Ivo Campos Bridge and Colombo Salles Bridge. Hercilio Luz is such an iconic landmark of the city that you can see representations of it on postcards and souvenirs.