Amarante: The Bridge of Amarante


Amarante was already a crossing point over the River Tâmega in Roman times. When S. Gonçalo arrived here in 1280, he was concerned at the number of people who lost their lives when the river was in full flood.
The Bridge of Amarante
According to legend an angel indicated the position in which to build the bridge, and its construction was accompanied by many miracles.

S. Gonçalo’s bridge was destroyed by a flood in 1763.

Construction of the current bridge dates from 1782. Opened in 1790, Amarante's greatest moment of glory was the heroic defence of the bridge under the command of Francisco Pinto da Silveira.

For two weeks, from April 18th to May 2nd 1809, a few hundred defenders manfully resisted the onslaught of the Napoleonic military machine. They were finally dislodged from their positions in the early hours of May 3rd when a massive charge of gunpowder destroyed the barricade that cut the bridge.

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Arriving in Oporto to select a port wine for his college, Englishman Horace Grimpil soon finds himself embroiled in the conflicting interests of the British and Portuguese communities, where he is an ignorant outsider.

This Portuguese city - a turbulent place of ambition and defiance fought over by the French and British during the Napoleonic wars - is emerging from political turmoil that left the city and its people with their wealth and society destroyed.

Mr Grimpil, however, is about to experience personal turmoil of his own. Little does he know how the passions aroused during his journey of discovery will affect his own character, or how his presence will bring to a conclusion the relentless pursuit of a political revenge spanning generations.

Read more about the book here
 

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