São João Bridge

Bridge in Porto

São João Bridge
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Sergei Gussev

The São João Bridge, also known as the São João Railway Bridge, is a prominent bridge in Porto, Portugal. It was built as a replacement for the Maria Pia Bridge to accommodate the increasing demands of modern railway transportation.

Construction of the São João Bridge began in 1988, and it was completed in 1991. The bridge was designed by Edgar Cardoso, a renowned Portuguese engineer, and it serves as a vital link for railway traffic between Porto and Gaia.

The São João Bridge features a striking design characterized by a central concrete arch spanning the Douro River. It has a total length of approximately 450 meters (1,480 feet) and stands at a height of around 60 meters (197 feet) above the water. The arch is supported by two pillars and is complemented by elegant suspension cables.

The bridge’s design not only meets the functional requirements of railway transportation but also adds an architectural aesthetic to the Porto skyline. Its modern and sleek appearance harmonizes with the surrounding landscape and complements the city’s urban environment.

The São João Bridge plays a crucial role in facilitating railway connections and improving transportation efficiency in Porto. It effectively replaced the Maria Pia Bridge as the primary railway crossing over the Douro River. While the Maria Pia Bridge was preserved as a National Monument, the São João Bridge became the principal bridge for railway operations.

Visitors to Porto can admire the São João Bridge’s impressive architecture, either from a distance while exploring the city’s waterfront or up close while crossing the bridge by train. It stands as a testament to Porto’s commitment to modern infrastructure and transportation development.

The São João Bridge appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Porto!

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Visiting São João Bridge

Address: Ponte de São João, Porto, Portugal
Duration: 20 minutes

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