Historic San Antonio Bridge on Guam
The San Antonio or Stone Bridge was built over the
Hagatna River in 1800 by the Spanish Governor Manuel Muro and
dedicated to San Antonio de Padua. It spanned the Agana Canal
between the pre World War II districts of San Ignacio and Bilibic. The
bridge is a good example of the Spanish stone construction of the 19th
century. The coconut tree lined Hagatna River flowed parallel to
the ocean and offered a picturesque setting where people strolled past
wading caribao, splashing children, and women washing the family
clothes along the riverbank.
The bridge has survived floods, high surf and war.
For 150 years the bridge welcomed lumbering caribao families in wooden
carts, barefooted skipping children, strolling mestiza clad women,
marching uniformed military men and the baker pulling his bread wagon.
When the Americans rebuilt Hagatna after World War II, the river was
diverted, creating a park around the war-damaged bridge. Over
the years it has been partially restored.
Similar stone bridges were part of the Camino Real, the
important Spanish coastal road south of
Umatac. The San Antonio
Bridge is on the Guam and National Registers of Historic Places.