Compass

A bridge to the past: Flickr photo of the day

Compass

(Photo: Brad Hammonds / Flickr)

(Photo: Brad Hammonds / Flickr)

Most people call this the "Roman bridge of Córdoba," although very little of it is left over from Roman times. Most of the structure that now stands in the southern Spanish city’s historic center is a medieval-era recreation, which still makes it plenty old.

The bridge has long been beloved for its substantial looks. In the daytime, those giant supports might appear out of proportion to the wide, shallow Guadalquivir river bed below, where the water is usually a mere trickle. In winter (when Brad Hammonds took this shot) it flows more swiftly. That reflecting water plus the strategically placed lights make this image a romantic gesture to craftsmanship of the past.

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba rises beyond the bridge, its majestic architecture clearly reflecting Roman, Islamic and Christian influences. At the bridge’s south end is a battlement tower that Enrique de Trastámara fortified in 1369 to fend off attacks by his half-brother brother. Given that the notoriously murderous brother was called “Pedro the Cruel,” we can see why Enrique would want to keep him out.

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