The Guadalquivir and its bridges

When you visit the region of Andalusia, you might have heard or seen the Guadalquivir. This is a river that flows through different Andalusian provinces such as Jaén, Córdoba, Seville, Huelva and Cádiz. Guadalquivir is 657 kilometres long which makes it the fifth longest river in the Iberian Peninsula. A little fact is that’s it’s the only navigable river in Spain.

In the 7th Century Greek seamen arrived and called the river Tharsis, referring to the kingdom of Tartessos. Later the Romans conquered the area and called the river Betis. After that, the Moors conquered Spain in the 8th Century and called it the Guadalquivir. Obviously, it has been an important river towards the Greeks, Romans and Moors. The city had a cultural and economic expansion during the 8thCentury.The name has its origin from an Arabic word; al-wadi-al-kabir which means the great river. In the 16th Century, Colombus and many other explorers sailed on this river. Seville then became an economic capital of Spain and the most important entrance gate of the harbour.

In Seville, the river is situated on the left side of the city and has many bridges that can’t be unseen. From 1171 to 1852 there were no bridges, the only way to reach the other side was by boat. Though since the 16th Century, they started with projects for building a bridge. Each bridge is very important for their influences on social, economic and industrial development.

The important ones were finished in 1992 for the Universal Seville Expo ’92. These bridges are (from north to south):

  • Puente del Alamillo

This is a cable-stayed bridge. They started building the bridge since 1987 as a part of improvements for the expo. The bridge has access to La Isla de Cartuja that connects the city. Little fact: you have view of this bridge from the top of La Giralda. The name refers to the Alamillo Park that’s situated between Santiponce and Seville. First they wanted two similar bridges, but the unique design serves a viewpoint which is known as “the eye of the horse’s head”

  • Puente de la Barqueta

Puente de la Barqueta is also one of the bridges that have access to La Cartuja. The translation of this bridge literally means bridge of the barges. It was awarded by the European Convention for Metal Construction and has become one of the symbols of the identity of the new Seville.

  • Pasarela de la Cartuja

​It connects the city of Triana with the Monastery of Santa Maria de las Cuevas, which is today a contemporary art museum. Since 2004 they added a road traffic. Before that, the bridge was only for pedestrians. The walkway is 235 metres long with a width of 11 metres, which makes it the most slender bridge of the world. It’s also added in the Guinness World Records Book since 2007.

  • Puente de Cristo de la Expiración

This construction is built by José Luis ManzanaresJapón, inspired by Pont Alexandre-III, located in Paris. Walking on this bridge leads you to Torre Sevilla. The name comes from the Chapel of Sponsorship that’s closely located to the bridge. This bridge also has been known as “Puente de Los Leperos”, because the city government built this bridge first and made a riverbed later.

Other bridges situated in the Guadalquivir from north to south:

  • Puente de Triana or also called the Bridge of Isabel II. This bridge was constructed in 1852 made from metal arch. It’s the first bridge built of Seville and 250 metres long. It connects the neighbourhood from Triana. If you go down the stairs on a sunny day or in the weekend you can find a handicraft market. In this area you also have the possibility to sit in front of the Guadalquivir and enjoy a picnic with beautiful views.
  • Puente de San Telmo, this bridge has in total three arches. Today the bridge has four traffic lanes, two sidewalks on each side and a bicycle lane.
  • Puente de Los Remedios is made of beam, designed by engineer Carlos Fernandez Casado. It was constructed between 1956 and 1968. They built this bridge because in this period there was a high increased population. So they needed a new road to reach the other side.
  • Puente de las Delicias. It got its name because it’s close located to the Paseo de lasDelicias and the gardens of Delicias, located on the east bank of the river.
  • Puente de IV Centenario is located to the south of the city. The name refers to the place where it’s located, the quay. It also belongs to the Seville Expo ’92 as commemoration to Colombus who discovered America 500 years earlier

One of the most magnificent activities of Seville is a cruise on the Guadalquivir or do an adventurous kayak tour. If you’re planning on coming to Seville and want any help to organize an activity, write us at info@sevilla4real.com and we will try to help you with everything you need.

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