River “Vez”’s Bridge

Arcos de Valdevez
The actual bridge connecting nowadays the two banks of “Arcos de Valdevez”’s village is a building of the 19th century, begun in 1876 and completed in 1880, entirely replacing the original medieval bridge.

No architectural elements remained from the original building, therefore the knowledge of its original structure is based only on a scarce bibliography and some engravings.

The monument consisted of four round arches, supported by strong piers without eyelets, and with cutwaters. There were likewise two access ramps which rose from both banks to a landing plane. There are not referred to in any of the acronyms appearing on the construction stone elements, although their existence was almost certain, as it is characteristic of known examples of medieval bridges.

The whole structure is markedly Romanesque. The period of its construction is located somewhere between the end of the 12th century, and the beginning of the 13th century, based on the Inquiries of 1258, the toponymal sign of “Arcos” already referencing it.

The existence of the bridge and its connection with the local market of significant dimension and importance in the 15th century, as well as an important traffic network to and from the outside, served as a source of historical, economic and social growth of the “Arcos” village.

Location: Arcos de Valdevez
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