Ribera del Duero

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24 feb 2020

Puente Quintanilla de Onésimo y Olivares de Duero

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The Renaissance bridge that connects Quintanilla de Onésimo and Olivares de Duero is the only bridge over the Duero that is on the stretch from Tudela to Peñafiel.


"The first news we have of the Olivares and Quintanilla bridge dates from the late fifteenth century. On February 17, 1494, the Catholic Monarchs sent a commission to the Doctor of Villaescusa (Corregidor de Valladolid) to visit both towns and find out the need to build the bridge and the cost of the work. The council of Olivares had requested permission to build it and had the permission of the Count of Urueña, lord of the village of Quintanilla de Yuso ... "


It would be necessary to wait for the summer of 1571 for Juan de la Vega to begin his arc on the Quintanilla side. In April of 1572, Francisco del Río began his arc on the part of Olivares.


Litigation between the two towns and problems to meet the expenses of the bridge occurred over the years. In 1594 they are estimated at 163,717 maravedis and ask for distribution among surrounding villages (such as the Monastery of Valbuena, which was seized cattle and other goods for non-payment of 7,000 maravedis, later returned claiming that he had Royal Privileges).


Being a major work, continually had to deal with certain unforeseen events: the flood of the river, the trace or the resistance of the foundations. The architects who worked on it corrected the defects in time. The quarries of "Valdefuentes" of Quintanilla provided stone to the councils of Olivares and Quintanilla.


In 1624 the stonemason experts Sancho de Arribas and Juan Gómez de la Bordera visited the work, certifying that the work is finished in all its perfection.


The floods of 1702 and 1717 ruined the bridge and years later collapsed the reinforcements of the stirrups and the half of the arch of the side of Olivares and after the corresponding repairs, in 1729 it was given again the approval.


As a curiosity, in 1812, during the War of Independence, the English General Wellington flew an eye of the bridge, in his strategy against the French, who were stationed in Quintanilla. In 1816 the Dominicans of Peñafiel are asked to condition and repair the bridge, since they are the ones who at that moment charge the PONTAZGO or right of way through the bridge.


In the eighteenth century this beautiful bridge had 7 arches, 800 feet long, 39 wide and 49 high from the stream. The current arches are of half a point, with the central one being the largest. The pillars are protected by curved angle cutters and the abutments of the bridge are square.


You can see more river bridges here.

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