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San Antonio Bridge Guam

San Antonio Bridge Guam

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.

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