IMAGE: Svinesund bridge
Lise Aserud  /  EPA via Sipa Press file
The Svinesund bridge, which spans the Iddefjord and links Norway and Sweden, is shown in this February 2005 photo.
updated 6/10/2005 9:40:59 AM ET 2005-06-10T13:40:59

The Norwegian and Swedish monarchs opened a new bridge between their countries Friday.

King Harald V of Norway and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden met with great fanfare in the middle of the Svinesund bridge spanning a fjord south of Oslo.

Harald called the 2,300-foot-long bridge “a strong symbol of the unity between the brother nations.”

IMAGE: Norwegian and Swedish royalty
Bjorn Sigurdson  /  AP
From left, Swedish Crown Princess Victoria, Queen Silvia and King Carl Gustaf, Norwegian King Harald, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit, stand on the Svinesund bridge linking Sweden and Norway on Friday.
Norway is celebrating 100 years of independence from Sweden, which dominated a union between the two countries until 1905.

The two monarchs unveiled a stone monument of two hands extending toward each other, and shook hands themselves amid applause from a crowd of dignitaries and business leaders.

The new bridge, billed as the world’s largest single-arched bridge, is meant to ease car traffic between the countries. About 15,000 cars cross the fjord every day.

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