Bridge of Sighs in Venice

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The Bridge of Sighs (Italian: Ponte dei Sospiri) is a bridge in Venice, northern Italy . The enclosed bridge is made of white limestone and has windows with stone bars. It passes over the Rio di Palazzo and connects the old prisons to the interrogation rooms in the Doge's Palace. It was designed by Antoni Contino (whose uncle Antonio da Ponte had designed the Rialto Bridge), and built in 1602.

The view from the Bridge of Sighs was the last view of Venice that convicts saw before their imprisonment. The bridge name, given by Lord Byron in the 19th century, comes from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice through the window before being taken down to their cells. In reality, the days of inquisitions and summary executions were over by the time the bridge was built and the cells under the palace roof were occupied mostly by small-time criminals. In addition, little could be seen from inside the Bridge due to the stone grills covering the windows.

A local legend says that lovers will be granted everlasting love and bliss if they kiss on a gondola at sunset under the bridge.

See also

The name "Bridge of Sighs" has since been applied by association to other similar covered bridges around the world, including:

  • Puente de los Suspiros ("Bridge of Sighs" in Spanish), a bridge in the city of Barranco, Lima, Peru
  • A bridge in Cambridge, England
  • A bridge in Oxford, England
  • A bridge in Stockholm, Sweden
  • A bridge in Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • The Virginia Street Bridge in Reno, Nevada, known for being the place where newly-divorced women coming from the Washoe County Courthouse would toss their wedding rings into the Truckee River.
  • It was the inspiration for a bridge constructed in 1884 between the Allegheny County Courthouse and the old county jail in downtown Pittsburgh, USA. It has been deemed a National Historic Landmark.
  • One of the few natural arches in the Grand Canyon that is visible from the Colorado River (at mile 35.6, approx 57.3 km on the right). It is located in Redwall limestone and has a span of 4 metres (15 feet) and a height of 9 metres (30 feet).

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