Ponte Luiz I
The real name of this bridge is Luiz I (Luís I) and not, as it is popularly called, D. Luís I. A sentimental question of the people of Porto seems to be at the origin of the name by which it is commonly known. Regardless of the name, it is an ex-libris of the city and is included in the area classified as World Heritage by UNESCO since 1996.
The work was awarded on 21 November 1881 to the Société Willebreck company in Brussels, of which he was director Théophile Seyrig, disciple of Gustave Eiffel, and author of the project for the new bridge.
Work began that same year and continued until 1887.
On 26 May 1886 the first tests were carried out on the bridge, subjecting it to loads of 2,000 kg per linear metre of beam. On 30 October 1886 the construction of the arch and the upper deck were completed; on 31 October 1886 the upper deck of the bridge was inaugurated and in 1887 the lower deck was inaugurated, thus completing the construction of the new bridge.
It was a toll bridge (five kings – cinco reis per person) established one day after the inauguration of the upper deck, on 1 November 1886, and which was not to be charged until 1 January 1944, i.e. almost 58 years later.