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Bridges of Spain depicted on new stamps by Correos

Bridges of Spain depicted on new stamps by Correos
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The Spanish Correos continued "The Spanish Bridges" series of stamps with two stamps and two souvenir sheets dedicated to the Dragon Bridge in Alcala de Guadaira (Seville), the Puente Ingeniero Carlos Fernandez Casado (Leon), the Roman Bridge in Merida (Badajoz) and the Puente del Pilar (Zaragoza).

The Dragon Bridge crosses the river Guadaira in the town of Alcala de Guadaira (Seville). It was built by the Civil Engineers Jose Luis Manzanares and Inigo Barahona and opened on the 28th of March 2007. It is 123 meters long, with four spans: 43 meters the two central ones and 18.5 meters the two end ones. It was one of the first figurative bridges in the world and the first in Spain, and it emulates a dragon emerging from the Castillo hill and swimming across the river. Its inspiration comes from the architecture of Antoni Gaudi in Guell Park in Barcelona. The bridge is made of reinforced, pre-stressed concrete covered in "trencadis", a mosaic composed of pieces of ceramic and traditional tiles. It forms part of the Alcala de Guadaira bypass.

The Puente Ingeniero Carlos Fernandez Casado -which takes its name from the construction engineer - spans the Barrios de Luna reservoir, in the province of Leon. It was built between 1981 and 1983 as part of the AP-66 or Ruta de la Plata motorway. It is a cable-stayed bridge, measuring 643 meters long and 22 meters wide, for four lanes, and was the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world at that time. It has two towers more than 100 meters high, which open at the bottom. Each tower has 27 pairs of front cables and 28 pairs of rear cables. The bridge is divided into three spans, the central span measuring 440 meters and the two side spans measuring 66 meters. A sliding joint was built into the central span to absorb expansion movements.

The Roman Bridge in the city of Merida stands on the Guadiana river as part of the archaeological site of the ancient Augusta Emerita, the name by which the town was known in ancient times. It was built in the 1st century to facilitate communications with Hispania Baetica and give access to the city after the settlement of the Roman legions in town. It is 792 meters long with 60 round arches and it is considered to be the longest bridge of antiquity. It is built with a concrete core made of materials from the river and covered with granite padded blocks. It was originally divided into three distinct sections.

Over two thousand years of flooding and overflowing of the river have led to several restorations although the bridge still keeps its original construction in the part closest to the city known as the Humilladero. The souvenir sheet depicts a view of the Roman Bridge with its many arches.

The  Puente del Pilar, also known as the Iron Bridge crosses over the River Ebro in the city of Zaragoza. It was built in the late 19th century by the Spanish engineering company La Maquina Maritima y Terrestre specializing in the manufacture of metal bridges in the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was one of the first fixed bridges in Zaragoza since up till then the only fixed bridge in town was the 15th  century Puente de Piedra. In 1991 it underwent a restoration directed by civil engineer Javier Manterola in which two arched side boards were added for the passage of vehicles reserving the central platform for pedestrians. The metal structure was painted in blue and white, the colours chosen in a popular vote. The souvenir sheet features the bridge with the city in the background and the Basilica of Nuestra Senora del Pilar.

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