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The Bridge of Sighs: A Journey from Justice to Captivity

The Bridge of Sighs, also known locally as Ponte dei Sospiri, is one of the most iconic landmarks in Venice, Italy.

It is a short bridge that connects the Doge’s Palace to the Prigioni Nuove, the former prison of the Republic of Venice.

Due to its proximity to Doge’s Palace, you can reach it by walking or by taking a gondola.

History 101

History 101
Image: Twitter.com

Antonio Contino built The Bridge of Sighs in the early 17th century.

It is made of white limestone and is about 16 meters long and 1.1 meters wide.

The bridge is enclosed on both sides, with windows that are barred.

The windows are said to have been designed so that the prisoners could not see the outside world, which would only add to their despair.

What do the Legends have to say about it?

According to local legend, the bridge got its name from the prisoners who crossed it on their way to their prison cells or the execution chamber.

They’d sigh as they caught their last glimpses of the Venetian lagoon through the tiny windows.

Hence the name, Bridge of Sighs!

Where is it located?

In the center of Venice, next to the Doge’s Palace, is where you’ll find the Bridge of Sighs.

Check out yourself on Google Maps!

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Despite its gloomy history, the bridge is now one of the most romantic places in Venice and a symbol of love, romance, and mystery.

In fact, it’s a tradition to kiss one’s romantic partner while on a gondola ride while passing under the bridge.

This architectural and artistic marvel can also be viewed from the outside without paying an admission fee.

However, visitors have to purchase the Doge’s Palace entry ticket in order to walk across the Bridge of Sighs.

If you want skip-the-line access to the Doge’s Palace, it would be advisable to book a Doge’s Palace skip-the-line ticket.

For visitors, the Bridge of Sighs provides a picturesque backdrop for a romantic stroll and is a wonderful way to explore the city of Venice.

💡Let’s Recap what we have read so far with quick Bridge of Sighs fun facts! 

The Bridge of Sighs is made of white limestone and is about 16 meters long and 1.1 meters wide.

It is named for the sighs that prisoners were said to have made as they crossed it, knowing that they were on their way to prison.

The bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in Venice and is a popular tourist destination.

It is also a popular spot that is photographed by millions of people.

The Bridge of Sighs in Literature and Art

The Bridge of Sigh found mentioned in various novels, posters, paintings, and movies. Some of the most famous examples include:

  • The novel: The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope (1894).
  • The opera: The Gondoliers by Gilbert and Sullivan (1889).
  • The painting: The Bridge of Sighs by Francesco Guardi (1765)
  • The film: The Merchant of Venice (2004), starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons
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FAQs

Where is the Bridge of Sighs?

The Bridge of Sighs is located in Venice, Italy.

It is a small bridge that connects the Doge’s Palace to the former prison of the Republic of Venice, the Prigioni Nuove.

Why is it called the Bridge of Sighs?

The Bridge of Sighs was named from the sighs inmates were reputed to make when they crossed it, knowing they were on their way to prison.

Can you walk across the Bridge of Sighs?

Yes, visitors can cross the bridge and consider what the inmates must have felt when they did so in the past.

Why was the Bridge of Sighs built?

Antonio Contino constructed the Bridge of Sighs at the beginning of the seventeenth century.

It was constructed to link the Prigioni Nuove and the Doge’s Palace.

Featured Image: Wikipedia.org

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