By Beth Klemick
Did you know that Lisbon has a sister bridge to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco?
While our very friendly Portuguese taxi driver was pointing out the club scene along the Tagus Riverfront, my attention was solely on the bridge we were about to pass. If you forgot about where you were for one second, you could have easily imagined that you were in San Francisco, not Lisbon. The Portuguese sister bridge, the Ponte 25 de Abril, is no mere coincidence, as it was constructed under North American management beginning in 1962. This suspension bridge opened in 1966 and was originally named the Ponte Salazar after the then-prime minister/dictator of Portugal, Antonio de Oliveira Salazar. The bridge was renamed the Ponte 25 de Abril after the 1974 Portuguese Revolution, which started on that date, so as to remove any reference to the former dictator. The bridge connects western Lisbon and Almada on the southern bank of the river, adjacent to the Cristo Rei monument, which is a smaller version of the Brazilian original in Rio de Janeiro. At one time the Ponte 25 de Abril was the longest suspension bridge in Europe, but it has been now been surpassed by the Humber Bridge in the United Kingdom and Bosphorus Bridge of Istanbul.
Coming soon…our visit to Parque de Nacoes, home and host of the World Expo of 1998!