The beautiful Triana Bridge is not only the oldest bridge in Seville but one of the oldest bridges in the whole country of Spain. Connecting the Triana district to Santa Cruz, it’s a great method of transport to escape from the tourist centre of the city to a calmer and more authentic alternative. It’s a metal arc bridge 150 meters long and 7 meters high. The Triana bridge was built to replace a previous pontoon bridge, a bridge made out of floating boats. This pontoon bridge was built by the moors and commissioned by Abu Yaqub Yusuf in the 12th century and somehow lasted 7 more centuries until the Christian Reconquest of Spain where King Ferdinand destroyed the boat after 12 months.
The replacement was built during the reign of Isabella II of Spain and construction completed in 1852 as the first solid bridge in Seville. The Triana Bridge was the first engineering work made of iron carried out in Seville and one of the first in Spain. It was designed by the French architects Gustavo Steinacher and Fernando Bernadet who were inspired by the Parisian Caroussel bridge, ‘Pont du Carrousel’, which was designed by the French architect and engineer Antoine-Rémy Polonceau, whose name is celebrated on the east side of the Eiffel Tower.
Seville used to be surrounded by three rivers, effectively serving as a moat. This is where the name ´Triana´comes from: ´Tri´coming from Three and ána´is Celtic for river. This was until 1733 when the rivers were cut as Seville no longer needed to be protected by being an Island. Triana is a very residential district west of the Guadalquivir river. Traditionally Triana has been a working class area home to fishermen and gypsies. Triana is also often credited as the heart of Flamenco, the trianeros are an extremely passionate subset of residents in Seville and identify heavily with their district, and it’s iconography.
If you ever find that you’ve seen all the main attractions of Seville, then you have been to the Alcazar, climbed the Giralda, gasped at the Plaza de Espana, crossed the Triana Bridge and walked amongst the real people of Seville. These places are crucial if you´d like to understand the Seville way of life.