Several bridges traverse the Guadalquivir River as it weaves through Cordoba, but one really stands out: the Roman Bridge (Puente Romano). Constructed in the first century BC by the Romans, this ancient structure may have been preceded by an earlier wooden bridge. Until 2004 cars were allowed on the bridge, but now it is for pedestrians only.
It is believed that the ancient Roman road Via Augusta passed over the bridge’s foundation, connecting Rome to Cadiz. The Roman Bridge has been reconstructed many times since then, and in the 10th century the Moors extended it into the 810-foot (247-meter) structure you see today. Calahorra Tower to the south and Puerta del Puente to the north (which was reconstructed in the 16th century)—built during Islamic rule in the Middle Ages—anchor the bridge, and midway across the span sits a statue of San Rafael, the patron saint of Cordoba.
Private and small-group tours of Cordoba, including day trips from Seville and Malaga, typically include a stop at the bridge.Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- The Roman Bridge is a must-see for all first-time visitors to Cordoba, as well as architecture and Roman history buffs.
- Game of Thrones fans may recognize the Roman Bridge from the series’ season five, when it was transformed by CGI into become the Long Bridge of Volantis.
- Since the river is surrounded by green zones, many bird species call it home, making the bridge a popular spot for bird-watchers.
- The bridge is made of stone slabs that are accessible to wheelchair users; the bridge is also lit at night to help with visibility.
The Roman Bridge is located just south of the Mezquita (Grand Mosque) in Cordoba’s Old City, only steps away from the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos and within easy walking distance of top attractions and hotels. Cordoba is serviced by daily buses to/from major cities such as Madrid, Seville, Malaga, and Granada.When to Get There
For more picturesque views of the Roman Bridge, go in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds. Overall, the best time to visit Cordoba is arguably during its Patio Festival, usually held in the first two weeks of May: residents open their doors, allowing the public to view their lush private courtyard gardens.The Puente Nuevo
Located in Ronda, about a 2.25-hour drive from Cordoba, the Puente Nuevo (New Bridge) is another engineering marvel. Like the Roman Bridge, this 3-arched bridge—which transverses El Tajo Gorge, a sheer limestone ravine—is a popular photography spot and has become an iconic image of Spain.