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ALCÁNTARA Cáceres, Spain.

Town on the Tajo 62 km NW of Cáceres where an immense bridge carried the Roman road from Norba to Conimbriga. The road may be traced from the Alcátntara bridge to the Segura bridge over the Erjas at the Portuguese border, also built by the Romans. The Alcáintara bridge, 194 m long, spans the river with six arches; it is almost perfectly symmetrical. The maximum height is 71 m, of which 14 m are the triumphal arch in the center of the bridge. This arch, disfigured by restorations of the 16th c. and earlier, bears an inscription dedicated to Trajan (CIL II, 759), in whose reign the bridge was built. The imperial titles are those of the year A.D. 104. The columns of the arch also bore inscriptions, now lost, listing the municipalities which paid for the bridge (CIL II, 760). At the S side is a small shrine on the pediment of which is another inscription of Trajan (CIL II, 761) giving the name of the architect of the viaduct, C. Iulius Lacer.


P. Gazzola, Ponti romani (1963) 133-34; C. Fernández Casado, Historia del puente en España (1962) fasc. 560-69; J. R. Mélida, Catálogo Monumental de España. Provincia de Cáceres (1924) 118-38.


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