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Stretching out on the banks of the river Miño is the city of Ourense, which maintains its traditional link to the river through its Roman bridge. A crossroads, the Old City preserves major historic sites, outstanding among which is the Cathedral.
The river Miño, which crosses the city halfway through its course, has determined the current appearance of the provincial capital. Almost two thousand years ago, the Romans settled in this land attracted, among other reasons, by its thermal springs. The best-preserved legacy of that age is “a ponte vella” (the High bridge), which connects the banks of the Miño and which has grown to be the symbol of the city. Preserved from the original Roman bridge are some ashlar stones at the base. This major piece of civil engineering was restored in the 13th and 17th centuries, giving it its current appearance, with a pointed arch and ramps.
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