The iron bridge, with its famous industrial design evocative of times gone by, running over the Guadiaro River surrounded by nature, is a must-visit site within the Campo de Gibraltar. This location also features in an episode of Netflix series “The Crown” and is a major attraction for a variety of hiking and sporting events… and for good reason.
Built in 1929 under the direction of Madrid-born engineer Eduardo Torroja, the iron bridge that runs over the Guadiaro River in San Roque brought an end to the transportation of goods and people by boat.
According to a research paper by the University of Sevilla (supported by the Junta de Andalucía), the iron bridge, which formed part of the N-340 highway, which is a secondary roadway in the province, was withdrawn from service in 1969, when the construction of the San Enrique bridge was completed.
The study aims to set out the criteria and goals for promoting the vital role that this bridge and networks had in connecting this region, as well as the actions needed for sustainable renovation based on the cultural identity of its surroundings.
According to this study, the bridge was designed using the “tied arch” technique (with support beams connecting the arch to the foundations), which was first developed in Spain for highway bridges between the late 19th century and early 20th century.
It comprises of four sections of equal length using parabolic metal beams which are supported by factory piles.
The vertical beams are braced together by San Andrés crosses and between each other by light, traverse lattice beams alternating with larger lattices which are also braced together by San Andrés crosses.
The structures are held together by rivets and the length of the bridge consists of a central roadway and two side platforms (i.e. pavements) for pedestrians with parapets (fence) running along either side.
“At a time when the aesthetics of bridges was a focus of attention throughout Spain and decorative detail embedded in the structures was a prevailing concern, the tie-arch design was the typical vision of an industrial bridge; total simplicity”, reads the research paper.
The design, used in Spain during the first decades of the last century, was inspired by the 1876 Joaquín Pano bridge that runs along the Cinca River in Monzón in the region of Aragon; the bridge which runs over the Ésra river in Graus (also designed by Pano and completed in 1880); or the bridge running over the Ebro river in Zaragoza which was designed by Pérez Laborda (opened in 1895).
The Setting for an Episode in Netflix’s “The Crown” Season 4
The site where the iron bridge runs over the Guadiaro River is undoubtedly a must-see location on the bucket list, and the photo opportunities are unique and magnificent.
Such is the uniqueness of this setting that directors of the popular Netflix series “The Crown” chose this location for filming in late 2019. The bridge appears in the fourth season in an episode recreating Prince Charles and Princess Diana of Wales’ visit to Australia in 1983 on what was their first official trip after their wedding.
Actors Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin, who played the royal couple, cross the bridge in a Rolls Royce convertible in an iconic moment of cinematography.
Hiking, Cycling, Kayaking within a Beautiful Nature Reserve
The iron bridge over Guadiaro River is also an incredibly popular site for hikers and tour guide companies. You can kayak from this enclave to the port of Sotogrande, or from Torreguadiario to the bridge.
Other companies provide paddle surfing from the lower parts of the Guadiaro river to its mouth which passes under this bridge. Cycling routes also attract many enthusiasts to this area.
The environment surrounding the Guadiaro River is beautiful, with a nature reserve and estuary where bird watching is a big attraction.
The mouth of the Guadiaro River boasts one of the largest estuaries (where a river meets the sea) along the Andalusian coast, which brings with it great biodiversity, tidal channels, lagoons, sand dunes, rich vegetation and a floodplain embedded between the pre-coastal mountain ranges of Almenara and Chullera.
We guarantee that a day out in this location within the Campo de Gibraltar is well worth it; you can connect with nature while relaxing in a beautiful location surrounded by nature.