Pobleta de San Miguel bridge over the Truchas river

Iglesuela del Cid y Villafranca del Cid, Castellón, Teruel, Aragón, Comunidad Valenciana.
Medal/Award in the category Conservation in the year 2008.

Dating of the building: 14th - 16th century.

Applicant: Camilla Mileto and Fernando Vegas López-Manzanares.

Reason for the award :

For the excellent restoration of this medieval bridge, located between Iglesuela del Cid (Teruel) and Villafranca del Cid (Castellon), exemplary in its execution, as well as for being a genuine patrimonial element of great symbolic importance at local level.

The execution of the work involved the individual selection and precise placement of approximately 30,000 stones of various shapes and sizes, from the many pebbles in the pavement to the large blocks of several tons.

The bridge over the Truchas river is located between the region of Aragon and the Valencian Community. The chronicles of the Christian Reconquest tell us that King James I passed through this place on his advance against the Muslim armies, fording the river over a bridge that has now disappeared. In the new organization of the region, after the 14th century, the village depended on the new capital, Morella. In this century, Villafranca was forced to undertake public works, so the bridge´s construction could date between the 14th and 16th centuries. It is an extraordinary work of vernacular medieval engineering built by combining the techniques of lime-consolidated masonry and the construction of a dry-stone arch. The original pavement of the bridge was done with pebbles from the river arranged in chains. Upstream, some fifty metres away, a relatively recent bridge was erected that currently welcomes road traffic so that the medieval bridge has been freed from the function of passing vehicles, maintaining the function of a pedestrian crossing for the neighbors of the area. In addition, it has acquired a new role: it has become a historical symbol with which the inhabitants of the surroundings are identified, and where it is not uncommon to have celebrations of various kinds.

The restoration project included an accurate survey and an exhaustive study of the construction system. The execution of the work involved the individual selection and precise placement of approximately 30,000 stones of various shapes and sizes, from the numerous pebbles in the pavement to the large multi-ton blocks used to channel the course of the river or to create bank protection. Two fundamental principles were considered for the replacement of the pavement: on the one hand, the preservation of the remains of the original pavement, on the other, the conscientious selection of replacements with the aim of fully integrating the old and the new without affecting the aura.

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