(photo via flickr)
Located in the center of Spain, in Toldeo, the Puente de Alcántara is a popular monument for tourists. It holds a lot of historic value as its present form dates back to the 13th and 14th centuries. It was constructed in the Gothic artistic period by the Romans when they first conquered the town and served as one of the few ways of entry. During the Almanzor period of the Middle Ages, the bridge was reconstructed due to damages caused by battle. It was required that all people and merchandise were sent over the bridge as a way for them to maintain control over who or what entered their territory.
There is a gate tower that is on the western side of the bridge called the Puerta de Alcántara from 1484. On the eastern side, there is a protected, Baroque entrance of 1721. The gateway has a half moon arch and another horseshoe arch inside of that. As the bridge served as a setting for the Castle of San Servando, visitors can find a statue of San Idelfonso as well as the coat of arms of the Catholic Monarchs within. The center arch of the bridge is also dedicated to the Emperor Trajan.
The Puente de Alcántara can be found to the east of the Hospital de Santa Cruz and spans over the Tagus River. When standing on the stone bridge, one will see a breathtaking, wide-spanned view of the town of Toledo and of the Alcázar. The beauty of the bridge and the surrounding scenery creates an experience of Spain that cannot be matched by many.
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