Puente de San Anton (San Anton Bridge), Bilbao

Puente de San Anton (San Anton Bridge), Bilbao

Before Bilbao was made a town, by Don Diego Lopez de Haro in 1300, there was a bridge. No surprise, it was called the "Old Bridge." It stood next to the old Church of San Anton. For centuries, it was the only vital link across the river. The bridge, which provided passage for trade from Castile, was fiercely defended by the locals.

The double arch bridge spans the estuary of Bilbao, connecting the districts of Old Bilbao (Bilbao La Vieja) and Old Town (Casco Viejo). The original bridge, from the 14th century, was brought down several times by floods and wars.

A new bridge finished in 1880 suffered damages in the Carlist wars. It was reconstructed again in 1937 after being destroyed in the Spanish Civil War. The 1937 version is the one that stands today.

Trade and traffic were not the only uses of the bridge. For a time, criminals were impounded under the arches. Nobles convicted of capital crimes were not executed like ordinary people. They would have stones tied about their necks and publicly drowned under the bridge. The process was called "waterlogging."

The San Anton Bridge appears on the Bilbao coat of arms, together with its neighbor, the Church of San Anton. It also appears on the shield of the Athletic, the professional football club of Bilbao. The Euro 2020 logo bears an image of the bridge.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Bilbao. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Puente de San Anton (San Anton Bridge) on Map

Sight Name: Puente de San Anton (San Anton Bridge)
Sight Location: Bilbao, Spain (See walking tours in Bilbao)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Bilbao, Spain

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Create Your Own Walk in Bilbao

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