The Ponte Scaligero is is the most picturesque bridge in Verona, since it used to be part of the defensive structure of the Castelvecchio castle. The bridge, which is also called Ponte di Castelvecchio, still connects the castle to the Arsenal. It is only open to pedestrians.
Ponte Scaligero Verona
History and description
The Ponte Scaligero in its present state is however not the original one. In 1945, the German army blew up the first bridge, which was only reconstructed the 1950’s. In order to do this they first had to dreg up as many as possible of the original stones.
The bridge consists of imposing brick structure, with three arches that become progressively narrower. The arches rest on towers with merlons. In some spots Roman materials were clearly (re-)used. Examples are the Corinthian capitals near the first pillar (only visible when the river is nearly dry) and the memorial stone near the Arsenal. The latter was unearthed by chance during repairs after World War II.
It is not known when exactly the original Ponte Scaligero was built. Probably this was at some point in time between 1354 and 1376. At the time the bridge connected the city with the road leading north and was part of the castle’s defensive system.
Across the bridge from the castle is the Arsenal, which was constructed by the Austrians between 1840 and 1861. It is now a public park.