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The Old Bridge

Historic site and monument, Engineering structure, Bridge in Montauban

  • A real link between the historic heart and the Villebourbon district, the Pont Vieux de Montauban retraces a large part of the city's history with its all-brick construction and its impressive height seen from the Tarn.

  • In 1144, when the city was founded by Alphonse Jourdain, the plan for a bridge over the Tarn was planned.
    It is stipulated in the charter of creation of the city of Montauban that the bridge will have to be strengthened. The money is lacking because of the wars against the Albigenses and the English invasions. Construction is postponed.
    In 1311, the king, Philippe le Bel, supported the project and contributed to its building. He wanted, as in Cahors, to build a bridge that was an integral...
    In 1144, when the city was founded by Alphonse Jourdain, the plan for a bridge over the Tarn was planned.
    It is stipulated in the charter of creation of the city of Montauban that the bridge will have to be strengthened. The money is lacking because of the wars against the Albigenses and the English invasions. Construction is postponed.
    In 1311, the king, Philippe le Bel, supported the project and contributed to its building. He wanted, as in Cahors, to build a bridge that was an integral part of the city's defensive system. The engineers in charge of the project will be inspired by the famous Pont Saint-Benazet in Avignon.
    The Pont Vieux was completed in 1335, thus providing a link between the counties of Toulouse and Quercy.
    The Old Bridge is 205 meters long and 23 meters high. He has an exceptional flat apron for the Middle Ages. Its seven arches fitted with spouts and pierced with high openings enabled it to withstand the most terrible floods of the Tarn. At its origin, a square tower crowned with machicolations and battlements rises at each end of the bridge.
    Over the centuries, the bridge has been modified. The tower on the right bank, where the executioner lived, was destroyed in 1663 in order to build the Episcopal Palace. The other was demolished in 1701 and replaced by a triumphal arch celebrating a victory for Louis XIV.
    In 1828, the chapel dedicated to boatmen was demolished in order to respond to more dense traffic.
    The legend says that the black and white pebbles of the sidewalks come from the Tarn and the Garonne. They draw beautiful diamonds right through the apron. You will see the dates of the main renovations of the old bridge by looking a little ...
    The Pont Vieux was listed as a historical monument in 1919, it is the oldest bridge in Montauban. Become an icon of the city of Montauban, the Pont Vieux offers an exceptional view of its banks. To the right are the Ingres Bourdelle museum (former episcopal palace), the natural history museum (former Palace of the Cour des Aides) and the Saint Jacques church. On the left, the private mansions of the rich clothiers come to build an alignment of pink bricks and balconies overlooking the Tarn.