Friday, June 3, 2016

Grandpa's Bridge Too Far

I think I might have mentioned that when we were in Toledo last month we walked many of the same paths as San Geraldo's famous ancestors.

Had the weather been nicer (remember the rain every day except the last?), I would have done an ancestry tour. Fortunately, as we taxied back to the train station, we passed one of the bridges I hadn't gotten a chance to see.

Known in Spanish as Puente de Alcántara, Alcántara Bridge spans the Targus River that rings the old city. It was built by the Romans between 104 and 106 AD by order of Emperor Trajan.

In 1085, San Geraldo's 27-greats grandfather, Alfonso VI, crossed the bridge after taking Toledo, the first major city in the Christian Reconquista.

I'm glad San Geraldo is more enlightened — if no less regal — than many of his ancestors.

(Click the images. You know why.)

WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE IN 1899.
(CLICK HERE FOR PHOTO INFORMATION.)
117 YEARS LATER, ON A SIMILAR APPROACH TO THE PREVIOUS PHOTO.
THAT'S ALFONSO VI'S GRANDSON'S ARM HANGING OUT THE TAXI WINDOW.
CARS BEHIND US. NO CHANCE TO STOP.
CASTILLO SAN SERVANDO, TOP RIGHT. ORIGINALLY A MONASTERY BUILT
AROUND THE 7TH CENTURY. NOW A YOUTH HOSTEL. 
THE GATE (AT LEFT IN TOP PHOTO).
LEAVING THE CITY BY WAY OF A SLIGHTLY MORE MODERN BRIDGE.
NEXT TIME, I'LL GET SAN GERALDO TO REENACT GRANDPA'S ENTRY INTO THE CITY.
(JUST THE HORSEBACK RIDE... OK, AND THE CLOTHES. DEFINITELY THE CLOTHES.)

18 comments:

  1. the bridge has not changed in 1900 years; amazing!

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    1. anne marie:
      It apparently suffered more damage from war than it did from age. A small arch was destroyed in 1214 and rebuilt in 1543. An arch was destroyed in 1760 and repaired in 1762 and blow up again in 1809. Much of the bridge was destroyed in 1836 and rebuilt in 1860 and then repairs were done in 1969. Still amazing!

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  2. Yes, the clothes make the scene... especially the headgear. Lovely architecture.... those bridges are gorgeous.

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    1. Sharon:
      Next time, I'm walking across it!

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  3. Those Romans knew how to build to last...

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  4. The bridge looks pretty much the same, but lucky for you the road is vastly improved! The old photo is beautiful.

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    1. Wilma:
      There are some really exceptional old photos of Toledo. Fascinating.

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  5. Replies
    1. Jim:
      We walked across another historic bridge in Toledo. Marvels!

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  6. Mitchell waling on the same paths as his ancestors is wonderful.

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    1. Gosia:
      It really is wonderful and makes the history so much more real for me to imagine the ancestors in those same places. (If mine had been there they would have been the forced labor hauling the stones!)

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  7. I love Toledo and have fond memories of my visits there. Did you see any El Grecos?

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    1. Stephen:
      Saw El Grecos at the Cathedral and at one of the churches. I loved it there, despite the weather we had.

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  8. I think reenacting Spanish history is a good idea.
    I am organizing a neighborhood in a pantomime of the Peasant Revolt of 1381.

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    1. Spo:
      Just don't reenact the Inquisition.

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  9. Amaaaaazing stuff! I bow to you, oh great (X a gazillion) grandson of King Alfonso :)

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    1. Judy:
      Well, a taxi driver in Córdoba DID kiss his ring! Jerry just finds it historically meaningful and interesting. Coming from a long line of peasants myself (if they could even be traced), I'm very impressed.

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