The Puente de San Martín, also known as San Martin’s Bridge, is a medieval bridge that crosses over the Tagus River just west of Toledo. The bridge that is standing today was built in the 14th century and is characterized by five large arches across the bottom; however, the original bridge was built a century before. The first bridge was destroyed in a battle between stepbrothers Don Pedro I and Don Enrique II. It is about 27 meters (roughly 88 feet) above the river and about 40 meters (131 feet) across.
Although the bridge is architecturally stunning, the real attraction is the legend associated with it. According to local stories, an engineer realized he had made a mistake in his calculations during the rebuilding process, and the arches could not support the weight of the bridge once the wooden scaffolding was removed. Distraught, the man told his wife of his predicament. His wife, who wanted him to avoid both punishment and shame, snuck out in a terrible storm to fix his problem. She lit a fire underneath the scaffolding, causing it to burn away, and the bridge to collapse completely. The next day, when the people of the town and the other engineers approached the bridge, they believed the storm had caused the fire that destroyed the scaffolding, and the bridge falling was just an accident. The engineer who had made the mistake and his wife were never suspected of anything, and the collapsed bridge allowed the man to fix the problems with the original design.
The bridge was made a historical site in 1921, both for its complex structure and its legendary significance. Many tourists flock to the bridge to see its marvelous brickwork and to learn of the story of the engineer and his wife. When in Toledo, or even Spain in general, the Puente de San Martín is definitely worth visiting.