Monday, August 8

The smallest international bridge in the world: only three meters to link Spain and Portugal

At Engadget we love megastructures. In fact, we have a certain fixation on bridges. We have talked about longest 3D printed bridge in the world, the amazing Magdeburg water bridge, the Canillas de Aceituno, the Millau Viaduct and, of course, from 19.9-kilometer bridge linking China and Russia.

But we also like small things, and of course, in the same way that there are huge bridges, there are small bridges. In fact, there are international bridges, that is, they link two very small countries. And luckily, the smallest in the world, with its incredible length of three meters, is between Spain and Portugal.

With all of you, the bridge of El Marco

A 48-minute walk from La Codosera, a small municipality of Badajoz of 2,119 inhabitants (in 2018) known for its natural pools is located, passing the Sanctuary of Chandavila, in the middle of the El Marco hamlet, the El Marco Bridge.

This, hanging over the Aprilongo stream, is in charge of to join Badajoz (Spain) with Arronches (Portugal) and, in fact, it separates El Marco, a district with streets in Spain and streets in Portugal. Measures 3.2 x 1.45 meters and it is not the original, but it was rebuilt in 2008 with European Funds.

In an interview with the magazine Scratches published in 2018, Jose María Picado, owner of Casa Picado, explains that before there was another bridge, but that at that time “the stream was flat and you went through some stones.” I had a problem, of course, and that is when the current rose it washed away the planks.

In a article published by El Periódico de Extremadura back in 2009, it is explained that previously the bridge was formed by about “humble planks to which later some metal plates and a fragile handrail were added. “Also some stones with an” E “and a” P “that indicate to the passer-by if he is in Spain or Portugal.

The bridge was reformed by the Municipal Chamber of Arronches (Portugal). The Portuguese part of El Marco belongs to this municipality, which was improved with new materials. This bridge, they explained from the middle, has witnessed times of “smuggling” of cork, tobacco and even cattle. And there it continues to this day, as an object of tourism and (bridge) of union between two countries.