Bridge of Sighs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bridge of Sighs

Ponte dei Sospiri
Bridge of Sighs on Rio del Palazzo
Coordinates45°26′03″N 12°20′27″E / 45.43406°N 12.34086°E / 45.43406; 12.34086
CrossesRio di Palazzo
DesignArch bridge
MaterialIstrian stone
Total length11 metres (36 ft)
DesignerAntonio Contin
Construction start1600 (year)
Construction end1603 (year)
Click on the map for a fullscreen view

The Bridge of Sighs (Italian: Ponte dei Sospiri, Venetian: Ponte de i Sospiri) is a bridge in Venice, Italy. The enclosed bridge is made of white limestone, has windows with stone bars, passes over the Rio di Palazzo, and connects the New Prison (Prigioni Nuove) to the interrogation rooms in the Doge's Palace. It was designed by Antonio Contino, whose uncle Antonio da Ponte designed the Rialto Bridge. It was built in 1600.[1]

The Bridge of Sighs seen by night.


The view from the Bridge of Sighs was the last view of Venice that convicts saw before their imprisonment. The bridge's English name was bestowed by Lord Byron in the 19th century as a translation from the Italian "Ponte dei sospiri",[2][3] from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice through the window before being taken down to their cells.[4][5]

In culture[edit]

Numerous other bridges around the world have been nicknamed after the Bridge of Sighs — see Bridge of Sighs (disambiguation).

The 1861 opera Le pont des soupirs ("The Bridge of Sighs") by Jacques Offenbach has the name of the bridge as a title.

The Bridge of Sighs features heavily in the plot of the 1979 film A Little Romance. One of the characters tells of a tradition that if a couple kiss in a gondola beneath the Bridge of Sighs in Venice at sunset while the church bells toll, they will be in love forever.

Bridge of Sighs is the title of the second solo studio album released in April 1974 by English rock guitarist and songwriter, Robin Trower.

A Bridge of Sighs is mentioned in the opening line of “Itchycoo Park” by the Small Faces.

Marillion, an English progressive rock band, mentions this particular bridge in their song Jigsaw. ('We are renaissance children becalmed beneath the Bridge of Sighs').[6]

Giles Corey, an American slowcore band, likewise mentions this bridge in their song No One Is Ever Going To Want Me.[7]

Renowned American architect H. H. Richardson used the bridge as inspiration when designing part of the Allegheny County Jail complex in Pittsburgh. It was completed in 1888 and features a similar enclosed arched walkway that connects the courthouse and jail, therefore bearing the same name.

Bridge of Sighs, Oxford, England
Bridge of Sighs, Cambridge, England


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Five Remarkable Bridges that are more than 400-Years-Old". Internet Archive. History of Bridges. Archived from the original on 7 May 2021. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  2. ^ "Bridge of Sighs - Legend, Design and Interesting Facts". History Channel on Foxtel. 21 July 2013. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  3. ^ Byron, George Gordon Byron Baron (4 January 1863). "The Poetical Works of Lord Byron: with Life of the Author and Copious Notes. Beautifully Illustrated. Family Edition". Milner&Sowerby – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "The Grim History of the Bridge of Sighs in Venice". 20 January 2017.
  5. ^ Thomas, Keith. "The Bridge of Sighs". Quest Ministries. Archived from the original on 8 September 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  6. ^ "Jigsaw Songtext". Internet Archive. Archived from the original on 5 December 2020. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  7. ^ "No One Is Ever Going To Want Me". Internet Archive. Archived from the original on 15 October 2021. Retrieved 26 May 2022.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Venetian Arsenal
Venice landmarks
Bridge of Sighs
Succeeded by
Ca' d'Oro