Ponte de Lima Roman Bridge

Ponte de Lima, Portugal

One of the oldest towns in Portugal (founded in 1125), Ponte de Lima was historically significant as a Roman settlement on the road from Braga to Santiago de Compostela and Lugo, and the first place in Portugal getting a municipal charter.

The main symbol of Ponte de Lima, that together with the river names the town, is its bridge. In reality, it’s a composite formed by two bridges: a medieval part, which is bigger, starting on the left bank of the river and stretching to the church of Santo António da Torre Velha and beyond, for the length of two more arches. After that, starts the roman part of the bridge. It is only five arches long, starting from the big arch already lying on the old, dry riverbed.

Going down the stairs, one will also see the foundation of the Old Tower, maybe the first of the old medieval defensive system. The Roman bridge, presumably, dates back to the 1st century since that is the age that witnessed the opening of one of the Roman military ways of the Conventus Bracaraugustanus, connecting Braga to Astorga, more exactly the Via XIX, opened by Emperor Augustus. 

Regarding the medieval part of the bridge, although one can go back in time, at least until the reigns of Pedro I and Fernando (that directly connect to the construction of the walls and towers that fortified the town, finished by 1370) or even King Dinis (according to the documents mentioning a bridge that could also have been made of wood) we definitely know about the existence of the medieval bridge during the reign of Manuel I, more exactly in 1504, as this monarch ordered the new paving of the bridge and its decoration with battlements that were no longer necessary as a defensive and military option.



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Founded: 1st century AD
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Portugal

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User Reviews

Vimal Raj Kappil (20 months ago)
It is incredible to even think that this bridge was built by the Romans and then rebuilt in the Middle Ages. The numbers on both margins explain the myth that the first battalion may have reached the end of the Western world.It is a pleasure to walk across this pedestrian bridge and admire the river Lima and the beautiful town of Ponte De Lima. It is lit in the evenings adding to the romance of the location. There is a large free public parking lot next to the bridge so it's convenient to make a stop and take a stroll there.
Silvia Ninova (22 months ago)
Lovely all around. The most important is that is just for pedestrians and you can enjoyed fully.
M A S (23 months ago)
Well preserved bridge in a very attractive and central area. Makes for a pleasant walk. The bridge is also next to a large parking lot.
Tanya Mace (2 years ago)
Ponte de Lima in Portugal... sweet village on the edge of the Lima River. Ancient Roman Bridge used to be the only link over to get to Santiago. Gorgeous waterfront where all of life, commerce, shopping and eating are lived. We fell in love with the food, culture and people.
Andre Go (2 years ago)
Beautiful place!
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