Some rivers are natural frontiers between both countries, which share centuries of History. Bridges were constructed to unite the Iberian Peninsula, however, not always was it a peace sign, being the stage for battles, for example.
Above the Rio Chança, this bridge was constructed under investment from Mértola, in the district of Évora, and Huelva municipality. The bridge was inaugurated on 26 February 2009. The towns of Pomarão, in Alentejo, and El Granado, in Huelva, became more closely connected. With the bridge, to travel between the two towns, drivers will only travel for 12 kilometres, contrary to the 140 kilometres that were travelled before. The bridge is 150 metres long and it is 11 metres wide.
The bridge is well-known, especially for those from the Algarve who cross the frontiers and spend some time in Ayamonte. The bridge was inaugurated on 22 August 1991 and connects Castro Marim to Ayamonte. Connected to the Via do Infante, the Algarve highway, it is the perfect means for Algarve habitats to visit Spain. Besides being 666 metres long, it saved the lives of many inhabitants of both Portugal and Spain, enhancing tourism in both regions.
Ponte de Ajuda is another bridge above the river Guadiana, however, it is a bridge that cannot be crossed. With 380 metres long, the bridge was inaugurated in 1510 and connected the municipality of Elvas to Olivença, which is now part of the Spanish territory. The bridge was closed at the beginning of the 18th century, after being exploded by Spanish people during a battle. However, before the explosion, the Ponte da Ajuda was already a stage for violent battles, during the Independence Restauration, when Portuguese people decided to riot, to gain independence from the Spanish domain, in 1640.
In the North of Portugal, on the frontier with Galiza, there is a bridge that crosses the Minho River, which is made for trains and cars. Inaugurated on 25 March 1886, the bridge connects Valença with Tui. Besides cars being able to cross the bridge, some trains go from Porto and end in Vigo that cross the bridge, making it easier for people in the North of the country, and people from Galicia to visit another country and have other experiences.
It is actually the smallest international bridge. It connects Marco, in Arronches municipality, in Portalegre district to the locality of El Marco, in Spain. The bridge crosses the Ribeira de Abrilongo. During the 2000’s the bridge was reconstructed with the help of community funds. Before its most recent works, the bridge was something like a pontoon, that was dragged by the water and served criminals of both countries to trade tobacco, coffee, cork, and olives. As it is only six metres long, the infrastructure can only be crossed by pedestrians and bicycles.
Crossing the borders can also be done with more adrenaline, in 50 seconds, people may cross the frontier on a zip line, being the only place where this activity is possible.
Deeply in love with music and with a guilty pleasure in criminal cases, Bruno G. Santos decided to study Journalism and Communication, hoping to combine both passions into writing. The journalist is also a passionate traveller who likes to write about other cultures and discover the various hidden gems from Portugal and the world. Press card: 8463.