Puerta del Puente
City Gate in Córdoba
The Puerta del Puente or Gate of the Bridge is a Renaissance gate into Córdoba, Andalusia, in Spain. It is also called Arc de Triomphe.
What does the Puerta del Puente Look like?
The Gate of the Bridge is made with blocks of sandstone. The bridge gate features tall foundations supporting four Doric columns, which in turn support a classic post-and-lintel structure.
Above the door lintel there is an inscription to mark King Philip II’s visit to Córdoba in 1570, that reads: “During the mandate of Holy Catholic Majesty Felipe, our lord, Second with this name”. Above this you can see a relief representing two warriors wearing Dalmatic and Spanish breeches, and holding the crest of the Spanish Crown.
You can also see two reliefs representing, on one side, a woman sitting on a dead and beheaded man, who are thought to be Judith and Holofernes; and on the other one, a female character is represented with a baby in her arms.
History of the Puerta del Puente
Roman Córdoba was a walled city, and one of its numerous entrances was located where the Gate of the Bridge is today. We do not have much information about this gate, except for the fact it was first mentioned at the time of Julius Cesar. It was linked with the Roman bridge and formed part of the Via Augusta. It is also mentioned that that there was a statue at its top, representing a Roman deity, probably protecting the city, which could have been Venus, Goddess of Love.
When the city was under Moorish rule we know that it was the main entrance to the city, very close to the Caliphal Alcázar and the Aljama Mosque. On the other hand, we know it received several names, such as Bab al-Qantara (Gate of the Bridge), Bab al-Wadi (Gate of the River), Bab al-Sura (Gate of the Statue) or Bab al-Yazira (Gate of Algeciras).
At the time of the reconquest it was known as the Puerta de Algeciras, since it was the southern route of entry to Córdoba.
In the sixteenth century, due to a planned visit by Felipe II’s, the authorities decided to improve the condition of the entrance to the city due to the deteriorated state of the existing gate. It was also one of the city’s main gates, and handling a high volume of movement in terms of both people and supplies. In addition to enlarging the gateway, the city’s officials wished to improve the artistic merits of the gate.
With this goal in mind, on February 18, 1572, mayor Alonso Gonzalez de Arteaga issued the order to rebuild the Bridge Gate. Although Bridge Gate construction was started by Francisco de Montalbán few months later, Hernán Ruiz III which took over. Complications arose with a proposed trippling of the cost which caused the work to stop for a four years until 1576, when Hernán Ruiz resumed his work.
In 1912, under the reign of Alfonso XIII, the Puerta del Puente had semi-detached houses on both side they were demolished, were used to remodel its interior face, standardizing its structure and architectural decoration. It was isolating from the city walls and changed into a memorial gatein 1928.
In the late fifties the level of all the land bordering the door, until the original ground level was restored, when neighboring buildings were lowered.
In the early twenty-first century, the first restoration of the Puerta del Puente took place, at which point archaeological excavations took place. Further restorative work continued in 2005.
Visiting the Puerta del Puente
Currently, the Puerta del Puente is a monument that can be visited. The public has access to a permanent Exhibition room, illustrating the history of this monument through a careful selection of texts and images. It also provides access to the balcony located at the top, from where you can see a magnificent panoramic view of the entire monumental environment.
Visiting Puerta del Puente
Monday to Thursday from 10 am. to 3 pm. Friday from 10 am. to 2 pm. and from 6 pm. to 8:30 pm. Saturday from 10 am. to 2 pm. and from 6 pm. to 8:30 pm. Sunday and Bank Holidays from 10 am. to 3 pm. Summer, Monday to Sunday from 10 am. to 3 pm.
Tickets: 1 € Free Entrance for children under 5 years