Have you ever though that before there were no highways. Or even bridges. The most common way of linking both shores was through vessels, of greater or smaller size, which carried goods and people from one shore to the other.
In the city of Porto it was not different. During centuries, the vessels were the only way of linking both shores. Around 1300, a new way of reaching the other side was build: a wooden walkway. During a lot of time, it was a viable solution, but the floods that normally occurred in the city gradually caused the destruction of the walkways.
Maria Pia Bridge
The Maria Pia Bridge was the first masterpiece of Gustave Eiffel. It´s also known by the construction rapidness, as its execution lasted no more than two years having in mind that we were in 1877. It is a construction of an extreme beauty and elegance, with 354 extension meters and 61 height meters. During 115 years, it was passable. Currently, it´s deactivated.
At the time of its launch, it has had a great social impact considering that it allowed the railway link between the south and the north. Maria Pia Bridge gave rise to the construction of the Campanhã Station, which became, at the time, a driver of growth and development in the city of Porto.
Luís I Bridge
The Luís I Bridge, also known as only the “D. Luís Bridge” links the See to the Pillar’s Sierra. Teofilo Seyrig, a pupil of Gustave Eiffel, projected it in the 1886 year. It sustains two decks, which makes it a construction of great dimensions. One of the platforms is destined to the pedestrian circulation, the other to the subway circulation. The arch measures 172 meters. The superior deck measures 392m and the inferior 174. Do you know how much it has cost to build the D. Luís Bridge? 369 "contos" at the time, equivalent to less than 2000 euros nowadays.
It is very common finding pictures of this bridge as an “hallmark” of the city of Porto due to its proximity to places of great historical value, such as, the Ribeira, the Arrábida and the Warehouses of Porto Wine. Make out of your visit a postcard and when you cross it take time to get some pictures of the landscape. You will certainly carry great memories in the suitcase.
The Arrábida Bridge, authorship of Edgar Cardoso, has borne as a necessity due to the traffic increase in the city of Porto. The population increase in the city originated the need to create new lanes. And, in 1952 this new bridge in the Arrábida zone began to be built.
It took some year to be finished; its launch was only on the 31st of March of 1963. Based on an arch of 270 meters of span, at the epoch the greater in the world. Some though it would fall down… however, until today is there!
São João Bridge
Unlikely other bridges of the city, this one it´s not based on an arch. It is a continuous gantry, with vertical pillars, with three spans (two laterals and one central), built of reinforced concrete.
The São João Bridge came to replace the Maria Pia Bridge, currently deactivated, and it´s crossed since 24th June 1991. Its construction beat the world record for the greater span within a railway bridge built by the cantilever method.
When visiting the city of Porto, by car, subway or even walking you must cross our bridges. You will realize the monuments ‘magnitude as well as the perspective you will get from the city looking at it from high up.
Do you have any doubts regarding your trip? Did you know that there are cruises that make the circuit of bridges on the Douro River? We will help you! Contact us and make your visit to the city of Porto unforgettable.