"Ponte (Bridge) Sant'Angelo, Rome" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Thursday 28th April 2011
It is the most important and beautiful bridge of Rome. It was built at the same time as the Mausoleum of Hadrian (in 134) and was named Ponte Elio, but when the mausoleum became a castle and took the name of Sant'Angelo, the bridge took the same name. The main function of the bridge was giving the passage for pilgrims on their way to St Peter's. In the Holy year of 1450 being overcrowded and containing some commercial constructions the bridge caused numerous victims as its parapet fell down.
In the memory of this tragic event Nicolas V had two chapels built on the bridge's end opposite to the castle, and 70 years later landsknechts used them to attack the castle. This is why Clement VII hurried up to destroy them and in 1534 put on their place two statues of Apostles: S.Peter, by Lorenzetto; S.Paul, by P.Taccone. In 1669 Clement IX had G.L.Bernini to design 10 statues on the balustrade of angels holding the symbols of the Passion (pictured). Two of them were made by Bernini himself and now the originals are in the church of S.Andrea delle Fratte. The other 8 statues are work of his pupils.
Three central arches are original, while two end arches were constructed in 1892 to adjust the ancient bridge to the new walls of riverside (Lungotevere). The bridge is 130m long and 9m wide.
The appearance of the bridge that is currently called Sant'Angelo due to the statue of the Archangel that dominates the castle, has suffered several transformations: its towers were demolished and two statues depicting Saint Peter and Saint Paul were added. Ten more statues of angels carrying the symbols of the Passion were added in 1668. Bernini was appointed by Pope Clement the Ninth to draw their figures, while their execution was carried out by his pupils. The bridge assumed its current appearance in 1882 after several renovation works.
Ponte (Bridge) Sant'Angelo
Lungotevere degli Altoviti,
00186 Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Ponte (Via Coronari-Ponte Vittorio) (Roma centro)
Ponte (Bridge) Sant'Angelo is Shown By "Map D Zone" As "30"
Subway: Ottaviano (1.1 km NW)/S.Pietro (1.1 km SW), Metro A