Pontenafonso and Tambre Stuary
Un puente medieval en un escenario de gran valor paisajístico
There are human constructions that could compete in harmony with the best works of nature. Pontenafoso is an example which, as well as timeless beauty, has a great practical sense. But nature can never be left aside, and in this case this great medieval bridge is located in a setting of great scenic value, which increases its attraction and encourages us to take a leisurely stroll along it.
Pontenafonso, which appears as Ponte das Pías in medieval documents, joins the municipalities of Outes and Noia, overcoming the obstacle of the Tambre river, which serves as a boundary between the two municipalities.
It is believed to have been built during the reign of Alfonso IX, to whom it owes its name. Before its construction it was necessary to cross the estuary by boat, which was a considerable problem for the transit of people or goods.
Medieval alterations and rebuilding between 1842 and 1844 gave it its current appearance. This beautiful bridge is built of granite ashlars and is supported by 20 pointed arches. The bridge originally had 27 arches, but seven of them were lost in the floods. Despite this reduction, it is one of the longest medieval bridges in Galicia, as it is almost 270 metres long. Its width, 5 metres, also makes it one of the most outstanding in Galicia.
Its length and appearance are similar to that of Pontesampaio, located at the end of the Vigo estuary, over the Verdugo river.
In this area near the mouth of the river, the Tambre forms an area of great scenic value, with a leafy reed bed that shelters a variety of fauna. The mountains serve as a backdrop to round off a beautiful picture that we cannot fail to visit. The Tambre Estuary is part of the Natura 2000 Network.
Once across the bridge, in Outes, the hermitage of Nosa Señora da Ponte awaits us, a small chapel from the 16th and 17th centuries that belonged to the monastery of San Xusto de Toxosoutos. Its name helps us to understand the great importance that this bridge had and still has for the inhabitants of this region.