Roman bridge over Rio Tajo

Alcantara Travel Blog

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Roman bridge almost 2000 years old, still standing, and you can drive on it too! The other side is close to the Portugal border.
After about 3 hours driving from Toledo, we arrived in the little town of Alcantara, and went straight to see the Roman bridge. Probably not the most famous place in Spain, but
we decided to stop here to see the 2000 year old Roman bridge after hearing about it on a Teaching Company lecture on Classical archeology. The architect had an engraving saying he Caius Julius Lacer built this bridge to last forever. It's hard to think of what we build today that will last 2000 years.
The river Tajo is the same one we met in Toledo, they put up the Alcantara dam less than 1km upstream from the bridge, and it's clearly visible. But we can pretend it's not there and step back in time. Cross the bridge by car or walk, there wasn't much traffic here near the border of Portugal and Spain.
The Alcantara dam upstream from the bridge.
The bridge was ordered built by Emperor Trajan during the first century, and it had suffered more from men than nature. Several times, people blew up an arch to prevent their enemy of the day from crossing. Declared a cultural heritage in 1921, it is a very nice bridge to admire. There are places to park on either side, and you can walk on the bridge to see the archway over the middle.
We walked the bridge, took pictures, and then went to check in at our convent-turned-hotel in Alcantara. It's a nice hotel with even a computer in the room! In the lobby is a small museum like display of what used to be in the convent and some local art work. After a rest in the hotel, we went back to the Roman bridge before sunset for more pictures, and also took a hike up the hill, past the ruins to the town of Alcantara. Some local people were also taking a walk, but in the opposite direction, We were going up the hill, they were going down, and we could see them walk on the bridge. Then when we were walking in the the ruins, going down, they were coming up. We then drove the car around to the town, and walk the streets from the other direction, again we ran into one of the locals. She said it's the 3rd time we ran into each other today! The town was quite deserted though at 8pm after the sun set, and we went back to the hotel to have our dinner, which was very good.
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portia says:
Oh I highly recommend it!
Posted on: Jun 19, 2010
Chokk says:
Wow - didnt know this. I will put on my next trip; it looks awesome.
Posted on: Jun 19, 2010
Roman bridge almost 2000 years old…
Roman bridge almost 2000 years ol…
The Alcantara dam upstream from th…
The Alcantara dam upstream from t…
at the viewing spot of the Roman b…
at the viewing spot of the Roman …
at the viewing spot of the Roman b…
at the viewing spot of the Roman …
On the bridge
On the bridge
the archway over the bridge: arco …
the archway over the bridge: arco…
at the Roman bridge
at the Roman bridge
Temple de San Julian at the Roman …
Temple de San Julian at the Roman…
at the Roman bridge
at the Roman bridge
at the Roman bridge
at the Roman bridge
at the Roman bridge
at the Roman bridge
at the Roman bridge
at the Roman bridge
at the Roman bridge, upstream is t…
at the Roman bridge, upstream is …
at the Roman bridge
at the Roman bridge
Archway of the Roman bridge
Archway of the Roman bridge
Looking up at the archway on the R…
Looking up at the archway on the …
Looking up at the archway on the R…
Looking up at the archway on the …
at the Roman bridge
at the Roman bridge
at the Roman bridge
at the Roman bridge
at the Roman bridge from the other…
at the Roman bridge from the othe…
at the Roman bridge from the west …
at the Roman bridge from the west…
at the Roman bridge, note the ruin…
at the Roman bridge, note the rui…
at the Roman bridge
at the Roman bridge
part of our convent turned hotel
part of our convent turned hotel
the pool at the convent hotel is n…
the pool at the convent hotel is …
interesting fireplace tools at the…
interesting fireplace tools at th…
interesting fireplace tools at the…
interesting fireplace tools at th…
Stork in its nest sculpture, you s…
Stork in its nest sculpture, you …
doorway of the convent hotel
doorway of the convent hotel
our convent hotel in Alcantara
our convent hotel in Alcantara
at the Roman bridge, note the ruin…
at the Roman bridge, note the rui…
at the Roman bridge
at the Roman bridge
hiking up hill, looking back at th…
hiking up hill, looking back at t…
small town of Alcantara
small town of Alcantara
a church in Alcantara with Ntra. s…
a church in Alcantara with Ntra. …
a church in Alcantara
a church in Alcantara
Ntra. sra. de Almocovar  in Alcant…
Ntra. sra. de Almocovar in Alcan…
Ntra. sra. de Almocovar  in Alcant…
Ntra. sra. de Almocovar in Alcan…
streets of Alcantara
streets of Alcantara
the square in front of the church …
the square in front of the church…
storks and nests
storks and nests
stork!
stork!
storks and nests
storks and nests
storks and nests
storks and nests
square at Alcantara
square at Alcantara
Ntra. sra. de Almocovar
Ntra. sra. de Almocovar
old ruins of convento de las monja…
old ruins of convento de las monj…
old ruins at Alcantara
old ruins at Alcantara
looking at the Roman bridge from t…
looking at the Roman bridge from …
old ruins at Alcantara
old ruins at Alcantara
old ruins at Alcantara
old ruins at Alcantara
old ruins convento de las monjas c…
old ruins convento de las monjas …
old ruins convento de las monjas c…
old ruins convento de las monjas …
old ruins convento de las monjas c…
old ruins convento de las monjas …
old ruins convento de las monjas c…
old ruins convento de las monjas …
a window of the old ruins convento…
a window of the old ruins convent…
old ruins at Alcantara
old ruins at Alcantara
old ruins convento de las monjas c…
old ruins convento de las monjas …
old ruins at Alcantara
old ruins at Alcantara
looking at the Roman bridge on the…
looking at the Roman bridge on th…
looking at the dam
looking at the dam
on the way down back to the Roman …
on the way down back to the Roman…
old wall
old wall
downtown Alcantara map
downtown Alcantara map
downtown Alcantara at night
downtown Alcantara at night
Alcantara at night
Alcantara at night
convento de San Benito in Alcantar…
convento de San Benito in Alcanta…
strange looking sculpture garden n…
strange looking sculpture garden …
strange looking sculpture garden n…
strange looking sculpture garden …
strange looking sculpture garden n…
strange looking sculpture garden …
at the sculpture garden
at the sculpture garden
sign of the sculpture garden
sign of the sculpture garden
at the sculpture garden
at the sculpture garden
hallway of our convent hotel
hallway of our convent hotel
yummy cheese, ham and sausages at …
yummy cheese, ham and sausages at…
tasty pasta
tasty pasta
yummy sea bass
yummy sea bass
stew and potatoes at dinner
stew and potatoes at dinner
a dessert, looks like bread, but i…
a dessert, looks like bread, but …
more dessert
more dessert
they provided a computer running l…
they provided a computer running …
Alcantara Hotels & Accommodations review
A convent turned hotel in Alcantara
There are not a lot of choices for lodging in Alcantara, but the Hotel Hospederia Conventual de Alcantara was a nice hotel no matter where it's locate… read entire review
Alcantara
photo by: portia