Yayabo Bridge, an unprecedented national monument
By Mercy Ramos
Whoever visits the city of Sancti Spiritus, cannot miss the bridge over the Yayabo River, the only one of its kind that has been preserved in Cuba despite its almost 200 years since it was built.
Considered one of the most important symbols of that city in the center of Cuba, the work took 60 years from its projection to its foundation and after sufficient funds were raised, a large part of which was contributed by families from the town, 46 Years after it was conceived, construction began which, at first, it was thought would have four arches, but finally five were built.
This beautiful bridge, originally conceived by the Spanish surveyor Gabriel de Torres, was built under the direction of the Andalusian masons Domingo Valverde and Blas Cabrera, it has a distance of 85 meters long and is nine meters high at its highest point and the materials used were: mud bricks joined with lime and sand mortars.
The oldest inhabitants of the city say that the bridge is full of legends. One of them deals with the strength of the construction that was given by cow's milk together with bull's blood, then used to moisten the mixture of lime and sand in order to create the mortar, without cement, used in construction, mixture considered by the inhabitants of that time as magical.
The bridge was built over the Yayabo River, in the old Paso de las Carretas, to allow communication between the historic center of the city and the Colón neighborhood, since the road that linked both territories was difficult to transit in the rainy season.
Today, the majestic bridge, in addition to having been declared a National Monument in 1995, constitutes a colonial jewel in the center of the country and a symbol of the city’s heritage, which treasures many historical and cultural values of the Cuban nation.