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Southern Catalonia town holds bridge opening ceremony 100 years after royal snub

Amposta's 'Pont Penjant' was world's second reinforced concrete suspension system after Brooklyn Bridge


06 December 2021 12:08 PM



The 'Pont Penjant' suspension bridge has been a fixture of the Amposta landscape since 1921.

But on Sunday, Amposta, one of Catalonia's southernmost towns, held an official opening ceremony for the bridge a hundred years later, complete with ribbon cutting, residents in 1920s attire, jota-dancing, and processional 'capgrossos' big-headed giants.

"We believe this is an emblematic bridge," Amposta's councilor for culture and historical memory, Inés Martí, told the Catalan News Agency. "It is very important not just for our city but for Spain and possibly the world."

The 'Pont Penjant', under construction from 1915 to 1921, was the world's second reinforced concrete suspension bridge after New York's Brooklyn Bridge.

134 meters long and 24 meters tall, the structure was designed by José Eugenio Ribera after Catalan president Francesc Macià transferred his construction patent rights to him before getting into politics, and cost a total of 875,175 pesetas – the equivalent of 5,260 euros today. 

King Felipe VI of Spain's great-grandfather, Alfonso XIII, had been invited to preside over the inauguration event, but for undisclosed reasons never showed up and the bridge was, unceremoniously, opened to traffic. Spanish dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera decided not to host a similar event when he was in town five years later either. 

Sunday's was not Amposta's first historical reenactment – indeed, locals do have a penchant for dressing up in early 20th-century garb, as is the case every year for the 'Festa del Mercat' festival. On previous occasions, Ampostans have acted out the moment officials announced the bridge would be built or when the first stone was set. 


  • Jota dancers in Amposta on December 5, 2021 (by Ariadna Escoda)

  • Jota dancers in Amposta on December 5, 2021 (by Ariadna Escoda)