Castel St. Angelo


Ponte St. Angelo

Ponte St. Angelo

One of Rome's most ancient bridges and certainly the most beautiful.

Its Baroque statuary is from Bernini's studio, but the three central spans are attributed to Emperor Hadrian.

Ponte St. Angelo

Angel of Bernini, Ponte St. AngeloHistory

134 AD. Hadrian built a stone bridge called Pons Aelius, (the Emperor's family name) leading from the main part of Rome over the river to his mausoleum.

1450. Pope Nicholas V, toward the end of this Holy Year, exhibited St. Veronica's veil at the Vatican. Thousands of pilgrims were returning to the city center on what was then the only bridge in this area, when horses took fright at the far end of the bridge. Though passage was blocked, the faithful continued to crowd onto the bridge. In the crush 170 people died.

1530. Pope Clement VII Medici, for the visit of Emperor Charles V, adorned the bridge with statues of Saints Peter and Paul by Laurenzetto and Paolo Romano.

Angel of Bernini, Ponte St. Angelo1599. Beatrice Cenci, only 25 years old, was beheaded on the far side of the bridge for killing her father after he raped her. Her older brother was drawn and quartered, the younger only imprisoned for a year. The Pope had decided to make an example of them to the other unruly families of Rome.

1667. Pope Clement IX commissioned Bernini to sculpt 8 angels carrying the symbols of Christ's Passion. The Baroque master’s assistants executed them.

1892. During the construction of the riverside embankments, the bridge received its present form.

Lungotevere Vaticano – Ponte Sant’Angelo (Map D 3)