The Ponte Sant’Angelo connects the Lungotevere Vaticano in the rione Borgo to the Piazza di Ponte Sant’Angelo in the rione Ponte. It is one of the most famous bridges of Rome, thanks to the Castel Sant’Angelo.
Ponte Sant’Angelo Rome
History and description
Construction of the Ponte Sant’Angelo was ordered by the Emperor Hadrian, who wanted to be able to reach his mausoleum (now known as Castel Sant’Angelo) on the right bank of the river. The architect entrusted with the task was Demetriano, who did such a good job that in the course of its history the Ponte Sant’Angelo has never been destroyed or even damaged during the many times the Tiber flooded.
The bridge was built in 136 AD. In 1535 the marble bases for the statues of the Saints Peter and Paul, sculpted respectively by Lorenzetto and Paolo Romano, were added by Pope Clement VII. The two chapels that stood there initially had had to be destroyed for reasons of safety.
In 1892 the walls around the Tiber were constructed and the embankments were widened, so the bridge also had to be made longer and the two outer arches were made a lot bigger.
From the 16th century onwards it was the habit to show the bodies of executed criminals on the Ponte Sant’Angelo.
In the course of its history the Ponte Sant’Angelo has also been known under the names pons Aelius (Ponte Elio), pons Hadriani (Hadrian‘s bridge) and ponte di Castello.