The photogenic Pedro e Inês footbridge was designed by Cecil Balmond and built with the help of civil engineer Antonio Adao da Fonseca. Since its opening in 2007, the colourful walkway has become a popular subject for photographers and keen Instagrammers, thanks to its distinct coloured glass panels and futuristic design, which was partially inspired by skipping stones. Pedro e Ines spans the width of the Rio Mondego, which runs its course through the town of Coimbra in central Portugal.
If you're doing a road trip around Portugal or simply discovering the city of Coimbra, it's worth taking a walk or a bike ride along this unique bridge. It's particularly lovely at sunset, when it offers spectacular views of the city and river.
The bridge is named after one of the most famous Portuguese stories of forbidden love, a story involving Pedro, the Crown Prince of Portugal during the 14th century, and Queen Constance of Castile, his wife. According to legend, the Prince fell in love with Constance's lady-in-waiting, Ines de Castro, and the couple had several illegitimate children together.
Over time, King Alfonso IV faced more and more disapproval of the union within his court, and eventually he decided to take the matter into his own hands. The King ordered the murder of Inês in 1355, and she was killed. It was a decision that came back to haunt him in the end.
Pedro led an uprising and took the crown himself in 1357. He ordered the arrest of Ines's murderers and demanded that their hearts be ripped out. As a consequence of this horrific act, the new kin earned the title "Pedro the Cruel."
On the west side of the bridge is the Parque do Choupalinho, a large green space ideal for walking and outdoor sports. And across the river on the east end of the bridge is Mondego Green Park (Parque Verde do Mondego), a popular picnic spot with a play area for the kids.
The bridge is also a 20-ish minute walk from the Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra, which is open to the public and free to enter.
Pedro e Inês Bridge