Suggested visit duration:
1 Hour or less
Overall raiting based on Rewiews:
Sights & Landmarks
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round
Dom Luis I Bridge or Ponte Dom Luis I is one of the six bridges, situated in one of the most ancient European cities, Porto (or Oporto). It connects the banks of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia over the Douro river. The bridge spans over 395 metres, is 8 metres wide and 85 metres high. Its image has become one of the Porto icons, which is often called "the city of bridges". The bridge took 5 years to construct, from 1881 to 1886.
The occasional observer might spot that it bears some resemblance to the Eiffel Tower and will not be wrong! Dom Luis I Bridge has a connection to Gustave Eiffel, the author of the Tower. He was responsible for the design of this bridge and Maria Pia Bridge, with which Ponte Dom Luis I is often confused with. Gustave Eiffel, together with his student and assistant, German architect Théophile Seyrig, erected Maria Pia Bridge in 1877 and named in the name of the king's wife. However, a few years later the new project started, just 1 km away from Maria Pia Bridge. Here's where some troubles and disagreements between Eiffel and Seyrig occurred. In the end, Eiffel left the project, leaving it to his disciple, who made the construction more grandiose. As for the architecture, Dom Luis I Bridge has that distinguished Eiffel-Esque iron arch with intricate design.
The bridge has two decks, originally meant for road traffic. However, nowadays the higher one is used for Porto's Metro line D and has pedestrian walkways with absolutely fantastic views on the city. The second lower deck carries the regular traffic together with narrow walkways for those who are not afraid of height or even try to dive into the water from there. At the time, the building of Dom Luis I Bridge was necessary, for the territory where now cars and metro pass by, had to be covered earlier with boats to create a passage.
Although on the day of its inauguration, the king Luis didn't appear, it wasn't able to worsen the view in any way. It's still a pretty impressive metal construction, which is illuminated at night and provides great views of the city and cool opportunities for photographers, especially at sunset.
On one bank of the Douro river, you will see Porto and some of the city's famous buildings, such as the Clerigos Tower and the Porto Cathedral. On another bank, you'll take a look at the panorama of Vila Nova de Gaia, locally simplified to Gaia - the neighbouring town and municipality, famous for its wines. If you happen to be in the centre of Porto and aren't afraid of vertigos, do yourself a favour and walk to Dom Luis I Bridge to marvel at the sheer beauty of the urban views it offers!
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