La Margineda Bridge - Atlas Obscura

La Margineda Bridge

You can still walk across this beautiful medieval bridge in Andorra. 

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Nestled in the picturesque principality of Andorra, La Margineda Bridge has spanned the Gran Valira River for over 500 years. Historic documentation suggests that it was built around the year 1487. The walls are made of granite, preserving the shape of the bridge. The arch stones are composed of pumice, reducing the total weight of the bridge.

The commitment to keeping the bridge light also gives it its delicate structure, seeming remarkably thin and fragile for a bridge of its length. This intricate balance of lightness and form has enabled La Margineda to survive floods which have slowly stripped the nation of its other historic bridges. 

The site of the crossing was also precisely chosen. It’s situated at the mouth of La Portella d’Aixovall, the mountain pass that separates the parish of Andorra la Vella from Sant Julià. This location enabled the royal road to separate into two separate paths —one for those who wanted to walk in the sunlight, the other for those who preferred a shadier way.

On July 6, 2003, the bridge was declared an official Property of Cultural Interest, or a national heritage site. Next to the bridge is a sculpture, the work of the Valencian author Andreu Alfaro, commemorating the first Congress of Catalan Language and Literature. There is perhaps no better location for such a monument. As the congress aimed to guide Catalan culture into the modern era, so too did the Pont de la Margineda link the modern state of Andorra to its distant past.

Know Before You Go

There is a small parking area, off the traffic circle near the bridge. There’s room for about five vehicles.

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