The medieval period was characterised by a strong demographic expansion, by the Crusades, pilgrimages and a greater mobility of people. The economy grew and developed along with social and cultural changes. The density of land use increased as a result of higher valuing of the land.
The economy was based on agriculture, but the production of flax and wool for textile production was also significant. The polycultures of the land were mainly for subsistence, with bread as the symbol and source of nourishment.
Given this scenario, the transport of goods and products, especially those of higher volume and weight, gained particular relevance in the economy of the period. The main means of transport was the cart pulled by oxen.
The existence of communication routes and the development of means of transport enabled the construction of magnificent Romanesque buildings, the sharing of teams of builders and maximised the stylistic influences.
As referred to by Carlos Almeida, the roads and paths are like "veins of a body," where "the communities organize the occupation and use of its territory, which reflects the level of their social life and its economy."
In this context of mobility, the construction of bridges naturally achieved a wide development in the medieval period, which paid great attention to them.
The history of the construction of bridges, from the late 11th century to the 14th century, reveals that these were acts of piety, with kings, churchmen and nobleman bequeathing, in their wills and final wishes, significant donations so that these bridges would rise. These actions enabled the exponential construction of bridges in the medieval period.
For the construction of medieval bridges, people sought good foundations and firm sites, as referred to by Almeida, hence the fact that they present better resistance to time and floods.
The works, carried out on a few donations, were organized through a sort of brotherhood, which attempted to collect the necessary funds. Many of these officers on charge were ultimately sanctified, fruit of the pious nature that symbolized the erection of this type of construction.