Every Picture Tells a Story     June 2019

Córdoba & The Roman Bridge
Andalusia, Spain

The Roman Bridge

The bridge was built by the Romans in the early 1st century BC, perhaps replacing a previous wooden one. It currently, after the Islamic reconstruction, has 16 arcades, one less than originally, and a total length of 247 meters. The width is around 9 meters.

The Via Augusta, which connected Rome to Cádiz, most likely passed through it. During the early Islamic domination the Muslim governor Al-Samh ibn Malik al-Khawlani ordered a bridge to be built on the ruins of what was left of the old Roman construction. In the Middle Ages, the Calahorra Tower and the Puerta del Puente were built at the bridge's southern and northern ends, respectively (the latter is now a 16th-century reconstruction). The bridge was reconstructed and expanded to its current size. The arches depict the famous Moorish architecture that dominates the city's scenery. In the 17th century, a sculpture depicting St. Raphael was put in the middle of the bridge, executed by Bernabé Gómez del Río.

During its history, the bridge was restored and renovated several times (in particular in the 10th century), and now only the 14th and 15th arches (counting from the Puerta del Puente) are original. It was extensively restored in 2006.

Córdoba

Cordoba was founded by the Romans and due to its strategic importance as the highest navigable point of the Guadalquivir River, it became a port city of great importance, used for shipping Spanish olive oil, wine and wheat back to Ancient Rome. The Romans built the mighty bridge crossing the river, now called "El Puente Romano". But Cordoba's hour of greatest glory was when it became the capital of the Moorish kingdom of El-Andalus, and this was when work began on the Great Mosque, or "Mezquita", which – after several centuries of additions and enlargements – became one of the largest in all of Islam.

When the city was reconquered by the Christians in 1236, the new rulers of the city were so awed by its beauty that they left it standing, building their cathedral in the midst of its rows of arches and columns, and creating the extraordinary church-mosque we see today.

 

map showing the location of Cordoba
 

The Roman Bridge & Cordoba from our hotel room

The Roman Bridgew

Foot operated fountain.  Good idea! Walk ways in front of the Roman Bridge

The Roman Bridge

the Calahorra Tower - a fortified gate

Sunday vendors Calohorra Tower from the Roman Bridge

On the Roman Bridge Plaza del Triunfo

The Roman Bridge

The Roman Bidge

Outer walls of Mezquita

Entrance in the wall of Mezquita

Entrance in the wall of Mezquita

Arco del Triunfo

On the bridge mid week

Arco del Triunfo

From our hotel room From our hotel room
From our hotel room in early morning The Roman Bridge

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All Photography by Philip Illingworth