Porto boasts two large Eiffel bridges over the River Douro.
One is a disused railway bridge; the other is this one pictured— the famed Pont Luis I, which carries tram-operated Metro Line D and a pedestrian walkways on its top level and a road on the lower level.
I made this view with my Lumix LX7 from an alleyway east of the bridge.
Porto is an ancient and attractive city built along the River Douro. It was urbanized in Roman times, so relatively modern features such as electric trams, are really just a contemporary gloss on a place with a long history.
I think it’s important to put the timeline in perspective. There’s old, and there’s ancient! Car 131 is a one hundred year old Brill. While car 218 dates from the World War II era. Both add to the city’s charm.
There are three historic routes in service. Two wind through steep and narrow streets in the city center. The third works the river-front. The sound of the clanging bells is a thread to another era.
While riding one of the cars, I overheard an elderly British woman explaining that her great grand-parents lived in Napoleonic times. Napoleon was routed from Porto by the British Duke of Wellington.
Wellington was born in Ireland (although he famously disparaged his birthplace) and in the Dublin’s Phoenix Park, across the river from my apartment, stands the Wellington Testimonial (that celebrates his military victories). I can view this giant obelisk from my window. So there you go!
Gustav Eiffel is best known for his iron tower in Paris. However, he was also a prolific bridge builder and his iron bridges share characteristics with his Parisian tower.
Two of his bridges span the Douro River in Porto, Portugal, and both of these have railway histories. One bridge is presently closed and once carried 5 foot 6 inch gauge tracks for mainline trains while the other is open to foot traffic and Porto’s tram metro on its top level, while its bottom level carries a road.
In early April, I made many photos of the more prominent bridge, called Ponte Luiz I, built in the 1880s. Porto enjoys impressive verticality, and I used the city’s natural geography to find some great angles on the span.