The Roman bridge is in the historic center of this Andalusian city in southern Spain, very close to the fascinating Mezquita (mosque that has been converted to a cathedral). The Romans built a bridge across the Guadalquivir river in the 1st century BC, possibly replacing a wooden structure that previously spanned the river. The Via Augusta, a road which connected Rome to Cádiz, likely passed through here. The bridge was long admired for its beauty and solid construction.
The bridge has undergone a number of reconstructions and today likely bears only minimal resemblance to the one the Romans built. After Moorish reconstruction, the bridge we visit today has 16 arcades, one less than original bridge, with a total length of 247 meters. It is about 9 meters wide and is only used for pedestrian traffic. The bridge was last (extensively) restored in 2006.
In the center of the eastern side of the bridge is a small shrine to St Raphael, at whose feet the devout lite candles. In the Middle Ages, the Calahorra Tower and Puerta del Puente were built at the bridge’s southern and northern ends respectively. The Calahorra Tower is a fortified gate of Islamic origin built in the 12th century to protect the Roman Bridge. The tower was restored in 1360 by King Henry II of Castile, and was declared a national historical monument in 1931.
The Puerta del Puente (“Gate of the Bridge”) is a Renaissance gate located on the site of previous Roman and Moorish gates. It leads from the city of Córdoba to the Roman Bridge. The gate was reconstructed in 1572, being enlarged. A green zone surrounds the river on both sides and is home to a large number of bird species, making it popular with bird watchers. The first photo clues of this puzzle were from this region.
GAME OF THRONES
My wife and sons are H-U-G-E fans of the Game of Thrones books and television series. So it was imperative that while in Spain we visit the bridge.
The Roman Bridge was featured in Season 5 of the popular HBO TV series. The ancient bridge was enhanced by CGI (it was studied by drones which took aerial photos) and was morphed into the Long Bridge of Volantis (episode 3). The acting was all shot in the studio and the actors did not visit the bridge.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge and right arrow to advance)