São Gonçalo Bridge Amarante

São Gonçalo Bridge Amarante

São Gonçalo Bridge (Ponte de São Gonçalo) is the main attraction in Amarante, 50 km east of Porto. The granite bridge spans the River Tâmega.

View of the bridge of the River Tamega at Amarante
View of the bridge showing the Igreja de São Gonçalo, semi-circular verandas and spires


History

The present bridge dates from the late 18th century and replaced a 13th century structure that collapsed in a flood in 1763. There may have been an even earlier Roman bridge as there existed a Roman road from Amarante to Guimarães and Braga.

Religious images that once adorned the collapsed bridge were placed inside the Igreja de São Gonçalo.

The new bridge was later the scene of heroic resistance over two weeks by the townspeople in 1809 against the invading French in the Peninsular War (1807-1814).

The bridge has three arches with the largest arch in the middle. Semi-circular verandas with stone benches on the bridge are pleasant places to sit and relax. At each end of the bridge there are two pairs of Baroque spires.

Nowadays, the bridge is flanked by the Igreja de São Gonçalo and several cafes, bars and restaurants with views of the river.

São Gonçalo Bridge Amarante
São Gonçalo Bridge Amarante

Access - Getting There

Amarante has regular bus connections from the bus terminal south of the river at Avenida Primeiro de Maio to Porto (1 hour), Braga (1 hour, 20 minutes), Vila Real (1 hour, 40 minutes) and Guimaraes (50 minutes).

Amarante is no longer connected by railway but from the former train station the recent Ecopista da Linha Tâmega is a cycling/hiking track running 9 km to the former station at Chapa, along the picturesque river valley through pine and eucalyptus woods.

Other Bridges in Portugal

Bridges in Lisbon

Ponte de Lima Bridge

Ponte Romana Tavira

Ponte Velha Silves

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