Ponte D. Maria II, The Suspension Bridge 1843

The suspension bridge, officially named Ponte D. Maria II, was a suspension bridge linking the two banks of the Douro River, between Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia.

The start of construction ceremony was held on 2 May 1841, to celebrate the anniversary of the coronation of Queen Maria II, although it got known as the Suspension Bridge. The construction ended in 1842, about two years after the start of work.


With stone pillars 18 meters, 170.14 meters of length and width 6 was supported for 8 cable (4 on each side) made of iron wire, crossing width of 155 m from the bridge rio.2 ensured an improvement in traffic between the two sides, replacing the shaky bridge of Barcas.

Its construction was delivered to the French company Claranges Lucotte & Cie, owned by Conde Claranges Lucotte, inserting itself in the future road construction plan that would link Porto and Lisbon. The project was designed by the engineer Stanislas Bigot with the collaboration of José Vitorino Damásio.3 The engineer Mellet and Amédée Carruette engineers collaborated during his construção.

It opened without ceremony on 17 February 1843, during the occurrence of major floods of Douro6, which forced him to dismantle urgently the Ponte das Barcas.

To test their strength endured more than 105 tons weight that consists of about 100 barrels of water. It remained in operation for about 45 years, until replaced by Luis I Bridge, built by his side.

In 1887, after the inauguration of D. Luis Bridge, the suspension bridge was dismantled. Currently remain the pillars and ruins of the house of the military guard who ensured order and the regulation of the bridge, as well as the collection of tolls for passage.

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