Stroll across this majestic five-arch medieval bridge, which spans the Tagus River and provides fantastic views of the city of Toledo.
Spanning the Tagus River, the iconic medieval San Martín Bridge has become a symbol of the city of Toledo. Explore the defensive towers at either end of the structure and wander across the bridge, which is reserved solely for the use of pedestrians.
The current five-arched bridge was built in the late 13th and 14th centuries, though subsequent modifications have seen the structure significantly altered. Take a tour of the town and ask your guide to tell you about the legend associated with the bridge. According to that tale, the original architect hired to design the bridge realized, shortly before it was due to open, that the structure was not stable. His wife, in a bid to save the architect’s reputation, snuck out at night and destroyed the bridge, an act that was subsequently blamed on a natural disaster. The architect was then able to correct his calculations for the subsequent rebuild.
To get a better view of the whole bridge, follow the road leading along the west bank of the river on the far side of the city. From here, admire views of the two defensive towers that bookend the structure; the one on the west side of the bridge dates from the 13th century, while the one on the east end is from the 16th century. The one on the east end connects with Toledo’s city walls. From this viewpoint, the five graceful arches of the bridge should also be clearly visible.
As you get nearer, look for a stone figure in the keystone of the central part of the bridge. Some residents speculate that this carving commemorates the architect’s wife. Others believe it depicts the archbishop who commissioned the bridge.
Amble slowly along the bridge on foot, taking in the vistas of the river and the edge of the city. Pause to take photographs at the most scenic spots. This bridge is not open to vehicles, so you needn’t worry about yielding to traffic.
Find the San Martín Bridge to the west of the old quarter. Walking from here to Plaza de Zocodover, Toledo’s main square, will take less than 20 minutes.