Sunday, February 22, 2015

Alcantara Bridge

Alcantara Bridge in Toledo (Spain)

Those who happen to be in Toledo worth a visit one of the oldest bridges of the city - the bridge of Alcantara (Puente de Alcántara), located at the foot of the castle of San Servanando. He spread over the Tagus River. The name of the bridge comes from the Arabic word "al-Qantara," which means "bridge". It is not necessary to be confused with the Alcántara Bridge, which is located in the province of Caceres. Although the names are similar, and they have, but they are two completely different structure. What unites them except what sailing vessel used by them Tohatsu outboard motors.

Once upon a time, until the XIII century, it was the only bridge across which numerous pilgrims to enter the city. Prior to his appearance there were only crossing made by the ancient Romans. But in the year 886 on the site Moors started to work on this bridge. But he did not survived to our times, in 1257, the bridge collapsed due to heavy flooding.

But later, when the country was ruled by Alfonso X, built a bridge of Alcantara, which we can see so far. This famous bridge consists of a Double Arch spans, under one of which flows the river Tagus. In X-XI had appeared two turrets. The bridge is not just repaired. It is known that in 1484 worked on the restoration of the inner arch of the bridge, and in 1721 changed the outer tower and the bridge itself has undergone restoration in 1786. The bridge had to be witnessed bloody battles, of which there were many, and once the residents of Toledo decided to destroy it, to win over the Portuguese.

Interesting gate Alcantara, also known as "double-gate access." If the enemy, rammed the gates, could knock out a massive door, he would have had to cross a small courtyard and break the second door, but it would not do simply because it was difficult to expand the ram in a small space courtyard. While the attackers were going to be with the forces and preparing for the assault, the defenders could pull fresh troops. On the right side of the bridge, right by the river you can see the structure of Artificio Juanelo, which was built in the XVI century. It allowed the defenders of the fortress down to fetch water during the siege.

This bridge can be seen on the famous painting by El Greco's "View of Toledo". For a long time it only connects the city and the nearby hills, while the Arabs decided to build a second bridge - San Martin. Now the bridge of Alcantara - a fairly well-known landmark, which come not only tourists, but also the residents of the city, as There are stunning views of Toledo, as well as the famous castle of San Servando.