Built in the 16th century, possibly on remnants of an earlier bridge, this was the one navigable link between Mercadillo and La Ciudad until the completion of the Puente Nuevo centuries later. Cars still need good gears and drivers with steely nerves to take the steep hairpin bend on the way up to the cuesta de Santo Domingo. The gate above the bridge, the Arco de Felipe V, from the same era, would have been the only entrance to La Ciudad from this end of the town, making it a key defence. The balconied niches on the bridge itself were introduced as part of an 18th century renovation.
Both bridge and environs, including the small abandoned chapel below (now an Arabic study centre), were featured in the great Spanish film director Carlos Saura's version of Carmen (1983). The neighbouring Los Caños bar is decorated with stills from the film.