The Bridge of San Martín

The Bridge of San Martín

The exact date on which the bridge was built is not known, although there is documentary evidence that it was erected to replace another previous bridge, destroyed in 1203 by a flood of the river, of which there are still remains a hundred meters downstream. Its name comes from the nearby parish of San Martin de Tours, nowadays disappeared.

The civil war between Pedro I and his half-brother Enrique de Trastámara arrived and with it an important episode in the existence of the bridge, since the supporters of the first one destroyed intentionally part of the viaduct with the objective to prevent the passage of the supporters of Trastámara to the population. It was the year 1368.

Once peace was restored, and with the arrival of Archbishop Pedro Tenorio in the episcopal chair, restoration took place, due to the interest shown by the prelate in repairing the numerous buildings that were in deplorable state. As a reminder of that rehabilitation was placed a sculpture of the bishop on the key of the central arch, a figure that has inspired romantic legends.

In the 16th century the interior tower was decorated, adding the city’s coat of arms, formed by the two-headed eagle flanked by two sedentary kings.

Different inscriptions distributed by the bridge provide us with data on different reforms carried out between 1690 and 1790, reforms that endowed with the structure that today maintains.

It was declared National Monument by Real Order the 21 of December of 1921.

Source: Jesús-José Cerdeño Vozmediano