Ponte de Lima

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Ponte de Lima

Ponte de Lima - Wikimedia Commons/Harpagornis

Ponte de Lima - Wikimedia Commons/Harpagornis

The Portuguese Way and its variant along the coast are two of the routes of the Camino de Santiago that more pilgrims travel today, as they have gained much popularity in recent years. Thanks to this, many pilgrims have been lucky enough to visit places like Ponte de Lima and its famous bridge of Roman origin.

The legend of the river of oblivion

The name Ponte de Lima comes, no more and no less, from this bridge over the Lima River, which dates from the time of the Roman conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. There was a legend about this river at that time.

According to the legend this was the river Lethes, which by its beauty made all the people who crossed it forget all their previous life. When the Roman legions arrived to this place they did not want to cross it for fear of losing their memory. Seeing this, their general Decimus Junius Brutus had to cross the river on his horse to show them that this was not so. When he reached the other bank, he began to call each soldier by name, which gave them enough courage to cross.

In honor of this legend, today we can find on one bank of the river several statues of Roman soldiers and on the other one of Brutus on horseback.

The Romans built the five-arched bridge in the 5th century to facilitate the route between Braga and Astorga. Centuries later it was enlarged and reinforced by order of King Pedro I, counting since then with 16 arches.

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