In the 16th century, the authorities of Córdoba decided to improve the condition of the entrance to the city due to the deteriorated state of the existing gate. With this goal in mind, on February 18, 1572, mayor Alonso Gonzalez de Arteaga issued the order to build the Bridge Gate.
Reasons given focused on the fact that it was one of the city's main gates, handling a high volume of movement in terms of both people and supplies. In addition to enlarging the gateway, the city's officials wished to improve the artistic merits of the gate as part of an urban renewal.
Bridge Gate construction was started by Francisco de Montalbán although few months later, in 1571, Hernán Ruiz III which took over the works. Complications arose with respect to the design of the door, leading to a spike in the expected cost: the initial budget of 1400 ducats tripled to 3100. Work apparently stopped for a four year period until 1576, when Hernán Ruiz resumed his work. Possibly due to the indebtedness of the City Council of Cordoba and general lack of funds, the project remained was unfinished.
In 1912, under the reign of Alfonso XIII, the area in which the Puerta del Puente was located was stripped of its walls and rebuilt in 1928 as a memorial gate, repeating on the inner side forms the outer side. In the late fifties the level of all the land bordering the door, until the original ground level was restored, when neighbouring buildings were lowered.
In the early twenty-first century, the first restoration of the Puerta del Puente took place, at which point archaeological excavations took place. Further restorative work continued in 2005.References:
The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.
Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.
The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.
As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).