Last modified on 17 January 2015, at 10:23

Ponte Sant'Angelo

Ponte Sant'Angelo
(Pons Aelius)
StAngelo Bridge Rome.jpg
Ponte Sant'Angelo
Carries Passage to Castel Sant'Angelo
Crosses Tiber
Locale Rome, Italy
Design Arch bridge
Material Stone
Longest span 18 m
Number of spans 5
Construction end 134 AD

Ponte Sant'Angelo, once the Aelian Bridge or Pons Aelius, meaning the Bridge of Hadrian, is a Roman bridge in Rome, Italy, completed in 134 AD by Roman Emperor Hadrian, to span the Tiber, from the city center to his newly constructed mausoleum, now the towering Castel Sant'Angelo. The bridge is faced with travertine marble and spans the Tiber with three arches; it was approached by means of ramp from the river. The bridge is now solely pedestrian, and provides a photogenic vista of the Castel Sant'Angelo. It links the rioni of Ponte (which was named after the bridge itself), and Borgo.


Ponte St. Angelo

In times past, pilgrims used this bridge to reach St Peter's Basilica, hence it was known also with the name of "bridge of Saint Peter" (pons Sancti Petri). In the seventh century, under Pope Gregory I, both the castle and the bridge took on the name Sant'Angelo, explained by a legend that an angel appeared on the roof of the castle to announce the end of the plague. During the 1450 jubilee, balustrades of the bridge yielded, due to the great crowds of the pilgrims, and many drowned in the river. In response, some houses at the head of the bridge as well as a Roman triumphal arch were pulled down in order to widen the route for pilgrims.

For centuries after the 16th century, the bridge was used to expose the bodies of the executed. In 1535, Pope Clement VII allocated the toll income of the bridge to erecting the statues of the apostles saint Peter and Saint Paul to which subsequently the four evangelists and the patriarchs were added to other representing statues Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses. In 1669 Pope Clement IX commissioned replacements for the aging stucco angels by Raffaello da Montelupo, commissioned by Paul III. Bernini's program, one of his last large projects, called for ten angels holding instruments of the Passion: he personally only finished the two originals of the Angel with the Superscription "I.N.R.I." and the Angel with the Crown of Thorns, but these were kept by Clement IX for his own pleasure. They are now in the church of Sant'Andrea delle Fratte, also in Rome.

List of angelsEdit

Angel bearing a sponge, by Antonio Giorgetti
  1. Angel with the Column (Throne) (Antonio Raggi, inscription Tronus meus in columna).[1]
  2. Angel with the Whips (Lazzaro Morelli, inscription In flagella paratus sum).[2]
  3. Angel with the Crown of Thorns (Bernini and son Paolo, now in church of Sant'Andrea delle Fratte). Copy on the bridge by Paolo Naldini (inscription In aerumna mea dum configitur spina).[3]
  4. Angel with the Sudarium (Veronica’s Veil) (Cosimo Fancelli, inscription Respice faciem Christi tui)[1].[4]
  5. Angel with the Garment and Dice (Paolo Naldini, inscription super vestimentum meum miserunt sortem).[5]
  6. Angel with the Nail (Girolamo Lucenti, inscription Aspicient ad me quem confixerunt).[6]
  7. Angel with the Cross. (Ercole Ferrata, inscription Cuius principatus super humerum eius).[7]
  8. Angel with the Superscription (Bernini and son Paolo, now in church of Sant'Andrea delle Fratte). Copy on the bridge by Giulio Cartari (inscription Regnavit a ligno deus).[8]
  9. Angel with the Sponge (with vinegar) (Antonio Giorgetti, inscription Potaverunt me aceto).[9]
  10. Angel with the Lance (Domenico Guidi, inscription Vulnerasti cor meum).[10]

Of the statues on bridge prior to Bernini's update, only those of the two apostles, Saint Peter and Paul, remain.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ My throne is upon a column
  2. ^ I am ready for the whip. (Ps. 37:18, Sixto-Clementine Vulgate Ed.)
  3. ^ [I am twisted] In my affliction, whilst the thorn is fastened upon me. (Ps. 31:4, Sixto-Clementine Vulgate Ed.)
  4. ^ Look upon the face of Thy Christ.
  5. ^ Upon my vesture they cast lots. (Ps. 22:18)
  6. ^ They shall look upon me whom they have pierced. (Zech. 12:10)
  7. ^ Whose government shall be upon His shoulder. (Isa. 9:6)
  8. ^ God has reigned from the Tree. [of the Cross]
  9. ^ They gave me vinegar to drink. (Ps. 68:22)
  10. ^ Thou hast ravished my heart.
  • O’Connor, Colin (1993), Roman Bridges, Cambridge University Press, pp. 65f., ISBN 0-521-39326-4 

External linksEdit

Media related to Ponte Sant'Angelo at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 41°54′06″N 12°27′59.25″E / 41.90167°N 12.4664583°E / 41.90167; 12.4664583