Old Bridge

Also known like Roman Bridge

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Description

 

Saving the Guadalquivir river, we find the Roman bridge. Local researchers, such as Carlos de Torres Laguna and Jose Cruz Utrera, or specialists in Roman architecture, such as Antonio Blanco Freijeiro or Jose Maria Almendral, defend the Roman origin of the bridge. Everything seems to indicate that the bridge was built at the end of the second century, in times of Septimo Severo.

Professor Don Jose Cruz Utrera in his work Arqueologia de Andujar describes the bridge in the following terms: "This bridge is built with blocks of sandstone colored siena, or brown and measures 338 meters in length, 11 m and 7'8 m wide, which at 14'15m in the viewpoints has a total of fourteen eyes, of which the twelve on the side of the city, that is, on the right bank of the river, are of half a point and the remaining two are segmental, built in the mid-nineteenth century by the architect Sr. Pequeño, replacing several of the old ones.The greater arch, the ninth counting from the right margin, has a height of 9m and a light of about 12 m

Like the large bridge of Merida, it offers spillways or drainage arches over the piles to facilitate the passage of water in the great avenues. The number of these spillways is ten, of which the first four are circular. The abutment or pile located between the fifth and sixth arches has no spillway, the widest pile being the one between the fourth and fifth arches. The piles are provided with triangular-shaped cutwaters and crowned with pyramidal cap upstream and almost semicircular downstream, with the practical object of channeling and distributing the current into the arches. In addition, these cutwaters have the aesthetic function, very typical of the Romans, to differentiate the two fronts of the work. These technical characteristics make it possible to venture, with great caution, the date of its initial construction at the end of the first century or the beginning of the second century of our Era".

Three important renovations have been carried out on the bridge over time: the first, in the 15th century, a large part of the masonry marks that exist on the bridge are from that time; the second, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, and the third, in the second third of the nineteenth century, in which the five arches that bordered the left bank of the river were replaced by two segmental arches.

Probably the first remodeling was carried out at the end of the 15th century, because in 1491 the mayor of Andujar, the bachelor Juan Alfonso, asked the Catholic Kings for permission to carry out the necessary works on the bridge "because the river of the Guadalquivir stopped going by the old mother, where it used to go has been broken ", claiming that" new eyes should be made from near the bridge to where the said river used to be the old mother made to her neighbors -Andujar- bring new stones to said bridge " (1)

Several years lasted the works, reason why the town council of Andujar requested that the armhole paid by the residents of the city was extended to the towns of its jurisdiction, which provoked the opposition of some of them. In October 1494, the Catholic Monarchs ordered "pay the residents of La Figuera -La Higuera- in the contribution of the bridge" (2). In 1496 the cabildo obtained from the kings that the contribution of the neighbors of Andujar in the bridge was not in hours of work but in money, because those lacked, in general, of all effectiveness. (3)

The capitular acts of the seventeenth century make numerous references to the poor state in which the immediate stretches were located on the banks of the river. In 1609 the repair works were raised to 50,000 ducats, of which one seventh corresponded to the city and the rest to the towns that were fifty leagues away. On that occasion it had to intervene in three arches of the bridge, which threatened ruin, and which were on the left bank. In 1645, the works that were realized in the bridge from 1642 were on the verge of being damaged by lack of economic bottoms. In September of 1698 it is said: "the first arch of the entrance of the bridge is about to come down", so it was necessary to build "an arch of five rods to equal it".

 

In the eighteenth century two performances were made on the bridge. The most important was the year 1719, which involved the repair of the arches of the left bank, that is, those of the entrance from Cordoba, while the action of the year 1777 was of lesser consideration, since it consisted mainly on paving the road and other minor repairs.

In the first third of the 19th century the current of the river deteriorates again the arcades of the left bank. In 1824 the Council of Castile sent an architect to the city to recognize the bridge and propose the type of work it needed. In 1825 the city offered 300,000 reals for the expenses of the bridge settlement, a proposal that would not materialize because in 1829 the works had not been started. After the First Carlist War, during the Moderated Decade (1844-1854), the works had to be executed, opting, as we have already pointed out, to replace the last four arches with two large light shafts.

Association of Friends of the Patrimony of Andujar

CONSTRUCTION

Late II century

ACTUALLY

It crosses the Guadalquivir river

ADDRESS

Paseo Joaquin Colodrero

Audio Castellano - Puente Viejo o Romano
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English Aurdio - Old or Roman Bridge
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Photo Gallery

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1. General Archive of Simancas. Commission signed in the city of Córdoba by the Catholic Monarchs on August 16, 1491.
2. A.G.S. Resolution signed by the Catholic Monarchs in the town of Madrid dated October 11, 1494.
3. A.G.S. Document dated in Burgos on October 26, 1496.
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