The Bridge of Cava da Velha (Ponte da Cava da Velha) is a Roman bridge, situated in the civil parish of Castro Laboreiro e Lamas de Mouro, in the municipality of Melgaço. The name Ponte Nova indicates the existence of another structure constructed in the same local (or nearby) at one time anteceding the current bridge. This may actually be the nearby Ponte de São Brás or Ponta da Assureira.
The bridge linked the Roman road to Espanha. The bridge was largely constructed in the 1st century, but does not appear in the two most comprehensive lists of Roman bridges. During the Middle Ages, the bridge was reconstructed to take on its current form.
The bridge is situated in an isolated, rural area within the Nature Park of Peneda do Gerês. A bucolic location links riverbank between two Roman-era pavements, that is located 200 metres from the Bridge of Assureira and Chapel of São Brás. The ramp arches are supported on the granite margins.
The structure, in irregular stone, has supported by worked ashlar with joints filled by smaller stones horizontally. Between the arches are prismatic starling upstream, and rectangular buttresses downstream. On the bottom of the arches are holes to fit the frame. The pavement is formed by large irregular slabs, protected by stone slab guards.References:
The Church of St Donatus name refers to Donatus of Zadar, who began construction on this church in the 9th century and ended it on the northeastern part of the Roman forum. It is the largest Pre-Romanesque building in Croatia.
The beginning of the building of the church was placed to the second half of the 8th century, and it is supposed to have been completed in the 9th century. The Zadar bishop and diplomat Donat (8th and 9th centuries) is credited with the building of the church. He led the representations of the Dalmatian cities to Constantinople and Charles the Great, which is why this church bears slight resemblance to Charlemagne"s court chapels, especially the one in Aachen, and also to the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. It belongs to the Pre-Romanesque architectural period.
The circular church, formerly domed, is 27 m high and is characterised by simplicity and technical primitivism.