the world as I see it

Then and Now – Approach to the Bridge of Spain (Puente de España)

Posted by BCS on October 11, 2008


Approach to Puente de España (1899) - Photo courtesy of the United States Library of Congress (http://www.loc.gov/)

Present day Yuchengco Street as seen from Muelle del Banco Nacional (Photo taken on September 27, 2008)

Present day Yuchengco Street as seen from Muelle del Banco Nacional (Photo taken on September 27, 2008)

Prior to working on this series, after having read so much about Puente de España being the precursor of Jones Bridge or Jones Bridge replacing Puente de España, for long I thought both bridges stood on the same exact spot.

However, after looking at various maps and reading more about the older bridge, I found out that its northern end lead directly to Calle Nueva (Yuchengco Street now) and not Plaza Moraga and Calle Rosario (Quitin Paredes Street now) as Jones Bridge’s is now.

As you can see, the photograph from 1899 is simply labeled as “Approach to the Bridge of Spain in New Town, Manila.” Considering the word “approach” indicated on the label, I’m guessing that that photo is showing a place somewhere very near the foot of the bridge… and a good guess, in my opinion, would be Calle Nueva as seen from Muelle del Banco Nacional (if not, somewhere very near). But, then again, my guess could be all together wrong.

I have a feeling that I’ve seen the building with the sign “La Confianza” in some other photo, however unsure I am. I tried looking for it in my collection of old photographs, but I can’t find it in any one of them. But, then again, I could just be imagining things.

I can’t help but wonder WHY Calle Nueva never became as famous a street as Escolta and Calle Rosario considering that traffic from the bridge could go directly through it. But then again, I’m comparing it to how activity or inactivity of the streets of Metro Manila is influenced today… which is largely based on the proximity of the sources of pedestrian and vehicular traffic to the street (like LRT/MRT stations, public utility vehicle terminals, and malls).

Note on the use of the old photograph:

From the United States Library of Congress website:

“Whenever possible, the Library of Congress provides factual information about copyright owners and related matters in the catalog records, finding aids and other texts that accompany collections. As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and generally does not grant or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Permission and possible fees may be required from the copyright owner independently of the Library. It is the researcher’s obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the Library’s collections. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Researchers must make their own assessments of rights in light of their intended use.

“If you have any more information about an item you’ve seen on our website or if you are the copyright owner and believe our website has not properly attributed your work to you or has used it without permission, we want to hear from you. Please contact OGC@loc.gov with your contact information and a link to the relevant content.”


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