Les Arnaules Prehistoric Bridge – Manresa, Spain - Atlas Obscura

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Les Arnaules Prehistoric Bridge

A long strip of fossil-filled limestone makes up this natural bridge above a rushing stream. 


The bridge is located within the Geopark of Central Catalonia. More than 36 million years ago there was a sea in the geographical heart of Catalonia. The waters fell as the region’s mountain ranges rose, a process that has left behind stunning rock formations. This natural bridge made up of the fossilized remains of ancient sea creatures is one of those spectacular pieces of stone.

Les Arnaules Prehistoric Bridge, also popularly known as Pont Foradat (Perforated Bridge), is located near the town of Manresa in the area known as Les Arnaules. It is a long strip of limestone, especially hard and resistant to erosion, which has been separated from the slope where a small stream runs, forming a natural rock bridge that connects the two sides. The erosive action of the torrent has been emptying the materials below, isolating the slender rock bridge.

If we look at it closely, better where it has fractured, we will see that it is made of tiny round fossils that resemble lentils. These fossils are nummulites, the remnants of ancient marine life. Their calcium carbonate skeletons now make up the stone of this bridge. The layer of nummulitic limestone that forms the natural bridge measures 27 meters in total length and a width between 85 centimeters and 2.7 meters. It is suspended at 10.7 meters above the water.

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