Photographer's Note

1128-1139 - Independence of Portugal. D. Afonso Henriques proclaim the independent Kingdom of Portugal and became its first king. The following centuries there are several battles and wars between Portugal and Castile/Spain, as the Spaniards always wanted to incorporate Portugal in their realm.
1580 - 1640 - Spanish domination. King Philip II of Spain achieved the incorporation of Portugal within the Spanish domains.
1640 - Restoration of Independence, December 1st. The 60-year dynastic union of Portugal and Spain is finished. Portugal became independent again. More wars against the Spaniards, who want to recover their domination over Portugal.
1709 - The Spaniards destroy the Bridge of Ajuda (Ponte de Nossa Senhora da Ajuda; this photo), between the Portuguese frontier towns of Elvas and Olivenza (Olivença).
1801 - 1807 - Spain invades Portugal and occupies Olivenza (Olivença). It was the last war between Spain and Portugal. The Spaniards keep Olivenza (Olivença) by means of the Treaty of Badajoz, but according to the Treaty of Vienna (1815), Portugal never recognized Spain's occupation of Olivenza (Olivença); de jure, it may be regarded as a Portuguese territory.
1986 - Portugal and Spain become members of the European Union. Over the years, the borders between the E.U. members became virtually null and meaningless, but Portugal officially still claims the legal rights to Olivenza (Olivença).
2000 - A new Bridge of Ajuda was built nearby, downstream. It was undertaken by the Portuguese only, as Portugal could not accept an international bridge in a place where there is no agreement on the border limit.

This photo shows the ruins of the Bridge of Ajuda (Ponte de Nossa Senhora da Ajuda), that was built by the Portuguese king D. Manuel in 1509. It had 19 archs and a lenght of 450 m (1476 ft) across the Guadiana river, on the route between the Portuguese towns of Elvas and Olivenza (Olivença).

About the location. This brigde was in the former municipality (concelho) of Juromenha (also known as Nossa Senhora do Loreto). In 1836 this concelho was incorporated in that of Alandroal and Juromenha became a parish (freguesia). This is most of the photo. On the other side of the river was the village of Vila Real, which was part of the concelho of Juromenha. Under Spanish administration, Vila Real (Villa Real) was incorporated in the ayuntamiento of Olivenza (Olivença).
See also my other photos under the theme Olivença / Olivenza.
In the workshop I post other views of this ruins.

Today, December 1 st, Portugal celebrates the Restoration of Independence. It's a national holiday, but the Day of Portugal it's June 10 th.
Location in WikiMapia 38.7762183, -7.1705317.

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Additional Photos by Francisco Santos (xuaxo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4896 W: 319 N: 4862] (6854)
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