Small and unassuming this is the Marco International Bridge, Source: Arronches Municipality

Where can you find the smallest international bridge?

Where can you find the smallest international bridge?

It is called Marco, after the European village whose halves it connects

There are all kinds of unusual records and curiosities on this planet and now it’s time to look into one of these – the smallest international bridge in the world. Where can you find it and how long will it take you to cross it?

Apparently, the answer is simple. Called Marco International Bridge (a big name for tiny infrastructure) it straddles the Abrilongo stream, which also happens to be the border between Portugal and Spain.

Its name comes from the village where it is located and also happens to be divided by the border. The settlement bears the name Marco in Portuguese and El Marco in Spanish. Respectively, the villages belong to the municipality of Arronches (in Alentejo, Portugal) and La Codosera (in Extremadura, Spain).

Only available to pedestrians and cyclists

Let’s get a bit technical and mention the dimensions of the bridge, of course. It’s only 6 metres long and 1.45 metres wide, which means that only pedestrians and cyclists can cross it. Given that both countries are members of the Schengen Area, it also means that no passport checks will slow down the crossing, which can be achieved in the blink of an eye if speeding on a bike.

The current version of the bridge was built in 2008 after the previous one was considered obsolete. But even before that and before the Schengen agreement removed the border barriers and customs, there was a significant culture of smuggling across the stream for probably hundreds of years between the two villages.

In the past, in order to cross the stream, the villagers would place wooden planks – a form of “improvised pier” that would often get washed away by torrential waters. Now, smuggling is only part of the collective local memory and folklore.



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