D. Maria Pia Bridge
Porto was one of Europe’s first cities to adopt the use of wrought iron in architecture. The iconic Maria Pia Bridge is one of the first examples of the use of this 'new' material. The bridge was designed by Théophile Seyring and Gustave Eiffel. Now classified as a National Monument, the railway bridge was inaugurated in 1877. More than 100 years ago, the great Eiffel said the bridge stretched the classical limits of what metallic construction could do. The bridge connected Porto to Lisbon until 1991, when it was deactivated and trains began to cross the river using the S. João. Bridge. Its construction started in 1876 and when it opened, it had the longest arch span in the world. Its deck is 352 metres long and is 61 metres high. In 2013, in a contest sponsored by the Chamber of Architects, two Portuguese architects proposed to dismantle the iron bridge, which is owned by Refer (the Portuguese National Railway Network), and re-erect it in the center of Porto, as "monument to industrialization".