The Puente de Alcántara bridge has a history that pre-dates its Islamic name (in Arabic "alcántara" means bridge). It was originally constructed in the Roman era. It was later destroyed then rebuilt during Arabic times (854). In 1257 floods demolished it again but Alfonso X ordered its reconstruction the following year. The bridge was originally defended by a tower at either end. Only the one nearest the city remains and the other was replaced by a baroque gateway in 1721.
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