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The bridge of La Margineda, a medieval monument very close to the capital of Andorra



Puente medieval de la Margineda en Andorra


Andorra hides a multitude of monuments and curiosities among its mountains and, if you are attentive, many times it is not necessary to go far from the main roads to discover them.


One of the architectural wonders that we can appreciate at the roadside is the medieval bridge of the Margineda. It is a Romanesque bridge that crosses the Valira River and is one of the access points to the royal road that connected Sant Julià de Lòria with Andorra la Vella.


This medieval building is the largest of its kind in the Principality of Andorra, as it is 33 meters long. It has a height at its highest point of 9 meters above ground level and is composed of a single arch that joins both ends. Thanks to its optimal state of preservation, this example of Romanesque art is currently still working, which is very relevant due to the fact that its construction dates back to the 15th century.


The Margineda bridge has a very particular aesthetic, since it has been built mostly with stones from the banks of the river, a fact that can be seen in its rounded appearance. The railing is also composed of this type of granite stone and has a fairly low elevation with less than one meter high. That is why if you visit this monument it is advisable not to get too close to its edges.



If we observe the structure of the bridge in more depth, it is possible to appreciate differences in color and texture that show the different stages in which it has been built.

This emblematic monument is a great example of how human construction and nature interact with each other, since among the stones we can observe how moss and flowers grow between the grooves, both coexisting in perfect harmony.

 

In 2007, an excavation was carried out on the extension that initiated a major restoration. This work has highlighted several important facts, such as the confirmation that the bridge had been built in several stages, and the different uses to which the bridge was put over the years. Moreover, the excavations allowed the original pavements to be discovered, as well as an adjacent stone channel that was built at the same time and had been buried by the undergrowth. This channel allows the bridge to withstand storms, since it evacuates the water that may accumulate and flows into the river.




Nearby the construction we can appreciate a sculpture that was built in honor of the first congress of Catalan language and literature by the Valencian artist Vicenç Alfaro. This sculpture is formed by the union of two arches, which symbolize the symbiosis of past and present in Andorra, combining modernity with tradition.

This bridge also has a great symbolic aspect, as it joins the two banks of the river, connecting the parishes of Andorra la Vella and Sant Julià de Lòria. The village of La Margineda celebrates a curious and innovative festival known as "Barracas de la Margineda", which takes place at the end of July.

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