There are many reasons why Valencia is such a popular tourist destination. It has gorgeous gastronomy, a haven of old buildings, a beautiful cathedral and much more. But there is one part of Valencia that often gets overlooked – its beautiful bridges.
A beautiful legacy
There are 15 bridges in Valencia, two of which are footbridges – the oldest of which is La Trinidad. Know as ‘The Trinity’ this majestic Romanesque-style structure dates back to 1402, when it was constructed on the remnants of a wooden Moorish bridge. Located on one of the Turia’s oldest riverbanks, this bridge connects the city and the La Trinidad Convent. The ornate and beautiful Gothic building was founded by Queen Maria de Castilla in 1444 and was an extremely important cultural and religious location. The convent recently closed after five centuries but leaves a rich legacy. The bridge was also built in the Gothic style. Once flanked by two statues of saints, these were destroyed during wartime and today it is decorated with two Baroque sculptures by Italian artist Ponzanelli and supported by ten pointed arches.
Another of the city’s most attractive bridges is the Puente de San Jose which is believed to have been built in the late 1400s. It was originally decorated with the two Ponzanelli sculptures that today flank La Trinidad and once acted as the gateway from Portal Nou to the north. The Puente del Real (Royal Bridge) is another extremely picturesque bridge that dates back to the 16th century and is decorated with a statue of the patron saints of Valencia at each end.
Puente de los Flores and Puente del Mar are two of the most picturesque bridges. The first was built in 2002 and is an extremely romantic structure adorned with brightly coloured flowers, which are changed throughout the year. It is also home to wooden benches and walkways from which to watch the world go by and is a lovely bridge to cycle over, linking the Paseo de la Alameda with the Old Town. The pedestrianised Puente del Mar contains stone alcoves with statues of saints – a significant sight within a city where religion is at the heart.
The bridges all contain a wealth of history. The Puente 9 de Octubre was designed by a local architect in the 1980s to commemorate the National Day of Valencia while the Puente de los Serranos is framed by the Serrano Towers at each end in a nod to the walled city of the Middle Ages. Stunning architecture and detail pays tribute to the city as the bridge stands as a symbol of Valencia’s power – past and present.
The beauty of Valencia’s bridges is their representation of history, architecture and culture across the centuries. L’Assud d’Or is the newest bridge and also the tallest – finished in 2008, the suspension bridge is an impressive 125 metres high. The bridge was designed by the same man - Santiago Calatrava – who co-designed Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences Complex and is included as part of this modern, cutting-edge structure.