Ponte de Prado (Prado Bridge)

Vila Verde
The ‘Ponte de Prado’ (Prado Bridge), located in Vila de Prado assures the passage over the River Cávado, creating the link between the municipality of Vila Verde and Braga.

It was built in the middle ages and it is believed that integrated the Roman path which linked Bracara Augusta to the Astúrica Augusta. However, in 1510, after the King Dom Manuel 1st, had confirmed the Charter of Vila de Prado, an enormous flood demolished the bridge, being the year 1616 probably the year of reconstruction, at the time of Philip II of Portugal. 

Its structure is composed of a trestle Board, based on nine perfect round arches in masonry, with blind pillars and eight powerful carved-seas, of triangular shape, reinforced by downstream many other carvings in polygonal form. The carving placed on the left of the central arch rises to the level of the floor of the bridge forming a rectangular corner where built in the front position, two banks with a backrest.
One of the banks has been filled with the coat of arms of the Counts of Prado surrounded with the following inscription: "Encoantotiveres dias mira por ti se prudente. Asi como paga la ponte se paga la vida brevemente”.
(Translatation meaning of the inscription: "While you still have living days look after yourself and take care. As quickly as you pay for the bridge, such is life taken suddenly".

The bridge has sidewalks for pedestrian circulation, thus allowing privileged observation points over the River Cávado.

Associated to the ‘Ponte de Prado’ (Prado Bridge) is also a legend, referring to when the King of Leão was also from Portugal and Galicia, actually in Braga, fell in love with an illustrious Lady of Prado called Branca Guterres da Silva. Being the bridge in ruins, the King ordered the rebuilding of the bridge so that he could visit his beloved whenever he wished and in safety.

Besides the legend, it is said that the illustrious family of the ‘Prados’ preceded Dona Branca and this King, and that's why they pulled the same weapons from Silvas, by changing only the colour of the lion to black, in order to denote that the darkness of the night would hide these lovers.

Location: Vila Verde
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