The medieval bridge was built to cross the River Tambre that forms the border between the municipalities of Ames and Negreira, as well as to link the village of the same name. The village features interesting architectural elements such as several waterwheels, the 18th-century chapel of San Brais, and Pazo de Baladrón, erected in the fifties, all surrounded by an area of great scenic beauty.
The present-day bridge was built in the 14th century by order of the archbishop of Compostela, possibly making use of the remains of an earlier Roman bridge. It is made up of a main section with five masonry arches and two spillway arcades for times of flooding. The medieval design can be seen in the central arch, which is ogival, and the cutwaters. It is of undeniable strategic value due to its location on the route linking Compostela and Costa da Morte, being considered one of the most beautiful bridges in Galicia.
It was the main passing point over the River Tambre up to the 19th century, since it was the only standing bridge between Sigüeiro and Ponte Nafonso, since the other two existing bridges, Portomouro and Ons, were destroyed in the 17th century. According to Jacobean legends, this might have been the bridge used by the Apostle James’ disciples when they were being chased by Roman troops, after requesting authorization to bury his remains.
Very close to the bridge there is a waterwheel with three millstones, with a house on top, which has now been converted into a restaurant and cafeteria. It is a resting place that is a must for pilgrims following the Road to Fisterra-Muxía. The surroundings of Ponte Maceira saw the beginning of what is now known as the battle of Altamira or of Ponte Maceira, one of the bloodiest disputes between the Altamira family and the archbishop of Santiago over the lands and control of Val da Maía, on June 13, 1471.