Two-centuries history above the Spanish gorge: Puente Nuevo
Besides its well known big cities and busy life, Spain also hosts a series of impressive historical sightseeing objectives. The beauty of Puente Nuevo, however, lays in the combination between impressive scenery, history and architectural details dating back to the 18th century.
Nearly three centuries ago, King Felipe V of Spain came up with what was, at the time, the eccentric idea of building a bridge over the 120 meter deep canyon in Ronda, Spain. In 1751, workers began the complex project having three arches, one chamber above the middle arch and a series of impressive details. It took over 40 years to finish the construction and 50 workers dying while building it. Apparently, though, the architecture and the materials were so carefully chosen that the bridge lasted until the present day.
Besides the main purpose of making it easy for locals to move from one village to another, Puente Nuevo has also been used as a prison for approximately 3 years, during the Civil War. Above the center column of the bridge there was a chamber designed as prison. It didn’t take long until it became a torture room every time the local army captured opponents. It is believed that some of them were thrown out the window into the El Tajo gorge, but there is no real evidence to support this supposition.
After the Christian conquers have ended, the area of Ronda was gradually filled with merchants who thought there was great potential to produce money there. At the time, Puente Nuevo was the sport every merchant fought for; there were the greatest selling opportunities. As time passed by, the popularity of the region in terms of merchandising increased considerably, so more and more people came there for shopping.
Nowadays, Puente Nuevo is a museum where visitors can check out the former torture room, architecture, as well as the incredible view towards the El Tajo gorge.