Puente de San Martin – Toledo’s Medieval Bridge:
To the west of the old town of Toledo, under the watchful view of the Monasterio San Juan de los Reyes is the Puente de San Martin or San Martin Bridge. Built in the Middle Ages, this bridge crosses the Tagus River in Toledo and is part of the city’s medieval heritage.
The Puente de San Martin was built in the middle of the 14th century to replace an earlier bridge in the area that had been destroyed during the war between Don Pedro I and his stepbrother Don Enrique II. The bridge gets its name from the nearby parish of Saint Martin.
Granite for building used to be brought in from the mountains of Toledo and Extremadura and a strong bridge was needed to link the city to the west. It was Archbishop Pedro Tenorio who gave the orders for the bridge to be reconstructed. This bridge complemented the older Puente de Alcántara which links the old town to the east.
Features of San Martin Bridge
The Puente de San Martin features five pointed arches on strong pillars. The largest arch in the middle reaches an impressive span of 40 metres and it stands 27 metres above the river. This was quite an achievement for that period. There is a lovely Toledo legend in regard to this central arch and the reconstruction of this bridge.
At each end of the bridge there is a fortified tower. The entrance to the city is watched over by the large imperial coat of arms of Toledo with its monarchs seated on each side.
Puente de San Martin was declared a national monument in 1921.
From across the bridge is a nice general view of the old historic town over the Tagus River.