Dom Luís I Bridge

Bridge in Porto

Dom Luís I Bridge
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Travelholic Path

The Dom Luís I Bridge or Ponte de Dom Luís I, or Luís I Bridge, is a double-deck metal arch bridge that spans the River Douro between the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia in Portugal. At its construction, its 172 metres (564 ft) span was the longest of its type in the world. It has been confused with the nearby Maria Pia Bridge, a railway bridge that was built 9 years earlier, which is similar in aspect to the Luís I bridge.

The bridge was designed by Belgian engineer Théophile Seyrig, a partner of Gustave Eiffel, and was built between 1881 and 1886. The upper deck was originally used for pedestrians and the lower deck for vehicles. It was named after King Louis I of Portugal, who ruled from 1861 until 1889.

The bridge features a unique design with two metal arches that converge at the top to support the roadway. The arches are decorated with ornate ironwork, including the coat of arms of King Louis I. The bridge also features a unique system of counterweights that help to balance the weight of the roadway and reduce stress on the arches.

The bridge offers panoramic views of the Douro River and the surrounding cityscape, including the historic Ribeira district and the Port wine lodges on the south bank of the river. It is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike and is considered a symbol of Porto.

In recent years, the bridge has undergone renovation and restoration work to preserve its structural integrity and ensure its continued use. It is now open to both vehicles and pedestrians, with the upper deck reserved for the latter. It is one of the main landmarks of the city and a must see for tourists visiting Porto.

The Dom Luís I Bridge appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Porto!

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Visiting Dom Luís I Bridge

Duration: 15 minutes

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