Ponte dei Sospiri, Venice

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Ponte dei Sospiri - SAN MARCO

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    Ponte dei Sospiri
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    Ponte dei Sospiri
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  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Ponte del Sospiri

    by sue_stone Written Feb 20, 2005

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    me on the Bridge of Sighs
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    The Ponte del Sospiri or Bridge of Sighs is one of those attractions in Venice that visitors flock to see. Although I had seen it numerous times from the outside, it wasn't until my most recent trip to Venice, I got to actually walk across.

    As part of our visit to the Palazzo Ducale, we were able to get a close up look at the Bridge of Sighs. The bridge was originally used by prisoners, to cross over high above the canal into the dungeons. It is said that their sighs could be heard as they crossed, hence the name of the bridge.

    There are two levels to this enclosed bridge, so prisoners walking in either direction would not see each other.

    I must say I was quite excited to be able to walk across the bridge, and I took lots of photos looking through the holes in the bridge wall.

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    Ponte dei Sospiri | The Bridge of Sighs (V)

    by Zvrlj Updated Feb 8, 2008

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    The Bridge of Sighs and Ponte della Paglia behind

    The Bridge of Sighs is one of the best known artifacts in Venice. There is no a single tourist who visited Venice and failed to see the Bridge of Sighs. This bridge, connecting Palazzo Ducale – Doge's Palace and Prigioni Nuove – the New Prisons, was built in the first decade of the 17th century and it is work of Antonio Contin. The idea that prisoners sighed at their last glimpse of Venice as they passed before the windows of the Bridge of Sighs is a Romantic fancy of the 19th century.

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    Ponte della Paglia - The Straw Bridge

    by suvanki Updated Oct 7, 2010

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    Bridge of Sighs December 2008
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    SAN MARCO
    VAPORETTO- SAN ZACCARIA or SAN MARCO (VALLERESSO)

    Continuing along the Molo, with the Doges Palace on Your left, You'll soon come to a bridge. The Ponte della Paglia, or the Straw Bridge (pic 2), possibly named due to this being the place where bales of straw were unloaded for the garrisons of the Doges Palace, and the prison opposite. The straw was used for bedding and possibly for feeding the horses of the garrison. It was also the place where straw could be bought

    The bridge was originally built of wood, but was then re-constructed in stone in 1360, with this present bridge dating from 1847, when it was enlarged, but modelled on the old bridge.

    Bodies of drowned victims were at one time displayed on this bridge!

    Steps lead up to the centre of the bridge, which is divided into 2 parts by a rail that runs the length of the bridge. Part of the year, the steps are covered with ramps- this is during (and for a while after) the Venice marathon, which I believe is in October - So it's a good time for those who require wheelchairs, or are pushing prams/ pushchairs to visit the city.

    Apparently there is a shrine on the bridge that dates from 1580, with a carving of the Virgin known as Madonna dei Gondoliieri (that was added 3 years later) I only became aware of this after my recent visit (I'll put it on my list of things to look for next time)

    Now, this bridge is usually crowded with tourists pointing their cameras, or posing for photos on the left hand side of the bridge, as this is the usual spot for taking photos of another of Venices main attractions - Ponte dei Sospiri, or as it more usually known- The Bridge of Sighs.

    This covered walkway connects the Doges Palace to the prison, State Inquisitors office and the old torture chambers.

    Many romantic stories have arisen from this bridge, some are inaccurate in historical time and detail, but hey, this is a city of romance!

    UPDATE*** JAN 2009 - The Doges Palace is undergoing some renovation work - so it is a different view of the Bridge of Sighs now - as you can see from this photo! There have been some issues about the companies advertising hoardings. Pic 3 shows it as it was before the hoardings went up

    I particularly enjoyed wandering around here in the early hours of Christmas Day morning 2008, when this photo (1) was taken

    The bridge can be accessed as part of a tour of the Doges Palace -

    I'll return to Ponte dei Sospiri later on this short tour, with a different view of the Bridge.(keep following in order)

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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    A MISERABLE LOOKING PONTE DE SOSPIRI!

    by breughel Written Jul 18, 2010

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    Bridge of Sighs in summer 2010 !

    This summer 2010, not only prisoners have a sigh passing from the Palazzo Ducale to the New Prisons (Prigione Nuove) but also the millions of tourists discovering the miserable looking Bridge of Sighs between two walls of bleu panels and topped by a publicity panel for watches.

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  • ruki's Profile Photo

    Ponte dei sospiri

    by ruki Updated Sep 7, 2007

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    This bridge is connecting Doges' Palace and Prigioni Nuove (the New Prisons) and it was built in the first decade of the 17The. The name "Bridge of Sighs" inspirited by Lord Byron but it was so named for the “sighs of pain” from prisoners who was crossing from the palace to the prison. When they were crossing they were looking the sea and the freedom for the last time.

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  • dvideira's Profile Photo

    Bridge of Sighs

    by dvideira Updated May 16, 2004

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    bridge of sighs - venice

    It was erected in 16th century to connect the Doge's prisons, or Prigioni, with the inquisitor's rooms in the main palace.

    The "Bridge of Sighs" was so named for the “sighs of pain” from prisoners crossing from the palace to the dungeon-like prison....... do you believe that??? - except, of course, that the bridge was built long after summary judgments, torture, and executions had ceased in Venice. In fact by the 16th century, most of the prison inmates were held for minor crimes...

    Actually, the name "Bridge of Sighs" was invented in the 19th Century, when Lord Byron helped to popularize the belief that the bridge's name was inspired by the sighs of condemned prisoners as they were led through it to the executioner

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  • rubbersoul75's Profile Photo

    Ponte della Paglia

    by rubbersoul75 Written Jun 16, 2006

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    Doges palace on the left

    This photo was taken from the Vapporetto. You can see the Ponte della Paglia, with the Bridge of Sighs behind it.

    Originally built in 1360, the current one was constructed in the mid 1800’s.
    From the Ponte della Paglia you’ve got a nice view of the bridge of Sighs on one side, and the waters of the lagoon & San Giorgio Maggiore on the other.

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  • Mahieu's Profile Photo

    Bridge of Sighs

    by Mahieu Written Aug 1, 2004

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    Now that we're into bridges, how about another famous one? The Bridge of Sighs or Ponti dei Sospiri. It was said that it received its name in the 17th century, because the prisoners who passed through it on their way to the prison cells on the other side would most likely see the beautiful sight of the lagoon and the island of S.Giorgio and freedom for the last time.
    The bridge can best be seen when walking from the Doge's Palace to the Riva degli Schiavoni. You can't miss it: during the peak season, hundreds of tourists are standing on the bridge in front of it to take pictures.

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    Squeezing through the Bridge of Sighs

    by sandysmith Written May 2, 2004

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    me not a prisoner!

    This pic shows you how narrow the Bridge of Sighs is on the inside - there were two parallel but separate walkways in to prevent prisioners checking stories with one another ;-0. The tour of the Prisons is quite interesting especially after the Secret Itineraries Tour of the Doges Palace.

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  • rubbersoul75's Profile Photo

    Bridge of Sighs (ponte dei Sospiri)

    by rubbersoul75 Written Jun 16, 2006

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    Probably the 2nd most popular bridge in Venice, behind the Rialto. You wouldn’t want to be walking this bridge a few hundred years ago- it links the Judges rooms of the Doges palace, to the Prison.

    Condemned prisoners would cross the bridge and “sigh” as they took in their last views of Venice from the bridges windows. You can cross the bridge with the tour of Doges Palace.

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    Sestiere San Marco - Ponte dei Sospiri 2

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 4, 2004

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    Ponte dei Sospiri
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    There are two narrow passageways inside the bridge separate by the wall. The explanation is; one way is built for those who are going to the Council of Ten and another for those on the way back, in order to prevent prisoners or suspects checking their stories.
    The legend says; the sigh was heard throughout the open windows as the last voice of condemned people on the way back to prison where they have been executed.

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  • Profsmiley's Profile Photo

    Ponte de Sospiri - Bridge of Sighs

    by Profsmiley Updated Nov 21, 2004

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    Ponte dei Sospiri

    The bridge was built in 16th century to connect Palazzo Ducale with the state prison. The prisoners were led over the bridge directly to prison after trial in the Palazzo.

    The Ponte de Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs) received its name in the 17th century, because the prisoners who passed through it on their way to the prison cells on the other side would most likely see the beautiful sight of the lagoon and freedom for the last time.

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  • cheapskate's Profile Photo

    Ponte del Sospiri - the bridge of Sighs.

    by cheapskate Written Feb 18, 2006

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    View from the outside...
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    Check out the famed Bridge of Sighs. Made famous by Charles Dicken's novel, 'The Merchant of Venice'. If you intend to visit the Duke's Palace, don't forget to walk across it.

    How did the bridge get its name?
    Well.. This is the bridge that connect the Palazzo to the prison, so prisoners are brought across this bridge before they're put into their cells. The bridge is entirely enclosed, except for a couple of windows on each side. When the prisoners walk across the bridge, they take their last glimpse of the beautiful canal and sigh.. resigned to their fate. So there..

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  • abi_maha's Profile Photo

    Bridge of Sighs

    by abi_maha Updated Feb 2, 2009

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    It was a wierd experience to visit this dungeon and get a feel of how convicts feel when couped up in their prisons. By the time we got out me and dad were actually feeling quite claustrophobic!
    The Bridge of Sighs (Italian: Ponte dei Sospiri) is one of many bridges in Venice. 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 between 1600 and 1603.

    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 out 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[1].

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Sestiere San Marco - Ponte dei sospiri

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 4, 2004

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    Ponte dei Sospiri
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    Ponte dei Sospiri, built in the early 17th century, connects Ducal Palace and the prison. It was inspired Lord Byron to name it the Bridge of Sights. Actualy, it was built as a passageway for those who are going from prison to the Council of Ten.

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