Dom Luis I Bridge of Porto, Portugal
When I saw Luís I Bridge from a distance, I had this simple desire of going through it. I was not sure what our driving route would be. Porto was a new city to us and we were not sure where we would get parking to halt. After a circuitous route through the roads of Porto, the GPS did guide us through the Luís I Bridge. There was no chance of halting midway through the bridge and create chaos in the traffic. As we approached hubby dear said to be prepared. I was in a clicking spree not willing to miss a single frame. (Click the pics to get larger, clearer view.)
Dom Luís I Bridge of Porto
It is only much later I came to know this is the famous Dom Luís I Bridge of Porto, one of the 6 bridges of the city. The double decked metal arch bridge is built over Douro River. At the time Luís I Bridge was built, that is 1886, it was the longest bridge; the arch span measuring 172m in length. Téophile Seyrig took sole responsibility for the construction of new, major Luís I Bridge.
Till 2003, the upper deck carried just road traffic, trolley buses and electric trams. 2003 onwards the upper deck Luís I Bridge is used by Metro do Porto light rail system and a pedestrian walkway. I missed walking through this pedestrian walkway of Luís I Bridge. It surely has great views to offer of the historic center of Porto, the Port wine caves of Vila Nova de Gaia and the river Douro.
Trivia of Luis I Bridge
One interesting story associated with this is: The actual name of the Luis I Bridge was Dom Luis I Bridge, named after then King Luis I. That translates something into the “gift for King Luis I” but when the bridge was inaugurated in his honor in 1886, the king never showed up. So, the locals dropped the “Dom” – a sign of respect given many other nobles in structures built throughout the city – and ended up with Luis I Bridge. Why the king never showed up isn’t certain, but he largely despised being a leader (which he wasn’t very good at) and ignored many of his royal duties until his death 3 years later.
This is the view of the bridge from north river bank. Observe the pic carefully and you will see one more bridge in the background. It is the Maria Pia Bridge, a railway bridge built nine years earlier. It is located a kilometer to the east. They bear a strong resemblance to one another; Maria Pia Bridge has only one deck.