Puente del Hacho – the heart of iron

Puente del Hacho – the heart of iron

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The Puente del Hacho bridge lies between Alamedilla and Guadahortuna. It opened on 22nd March 1898. The two architects of the bridge were two pupils of the French architect Gustave Eiffel. In 1979 the structure of the bridge was sold to a scrap merchant from Madrid for one and a half million pesetas. However, public outcry finally prevented its demolition.

 

By Gonzalo Cappa / Granada Hoy

 

Just as in the Wild West, the Alamedilla bridge also had dynamite wedged between its foundations, although its past had a more Hispanic colouring. In 1979 the structure of the bridge was sold to a scrap merchant from Madrid for one and a half million pesetas. The mobilisation of the people destroyed the RENFE project to demolish the bridge.

The circular walk starts from the Estación de Huelma, where you can park your car. The path leads you towards the Río Guadahortuna, and to The Estación de Alamedilla. Further along take the Cañada Real de los Potros to return to your starting point.

The bridge was officially opened on 22nd March 1898, the year in which the Maine sunk in Cuban waters. The photographs of the recently opened bridge were the same colour as the iron from which the Maine was made. The engineers and architects of the project were two pupils of Eiffel himself, the Frenchmen Duval and Boutillea.

One of the curious things about the Puente del Hacho is that, in spite of being the longest metallic viaduct in Spain (625 metres long and 50 metres high), there is not one single screw in the structure. The newer bridge close by does not have any screws either – it is made of reinforced concrete and was built to ‘pension off’ the Puente del Hacho in 1970.

ROUTE INFORMATION

Regions: Guadix and El Marquesado

Towns: Guadahortuna, Alamedilla

Route length: 13.5 km

Estimated duration: 4 hours

Altitude on departure: 1032 metres

Maximum altitude: 1034 metres

Gradient: 195 metres

Recommended season: all year round

HIKE RATING SYSTEM

    • Itinerary and route
    • Paths or signposts showing the way
    • Effort needed
    • Over 1 hour and up to 3 hours (2+1) of effective walking
    • Severity of natural surroundings
    • More than one risk factor
    • Level of difficulty for walking
    • Walk on paths with rough surface

PLACES OF INTEREST

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