Bridge of Lions, Saint Augustine
The Bridge of Lions is a National Historic Landmark, that was built back in 1927. The bridge carries State Road A1A, between downtown St. Augustine and Anastasia Island. Two marble lions mark the end of the bridge, hence the bridge's name.
The bridge is currently undergoing a major restoration project, so an ugly temporary bridge has been constructed just north of the original bridge. Since the Bridge of Lions has such a stately name that helps describe its beauty, the temporary bridge needs a similar name. I propose Bridge of Lepers.
This bascule bridge is the primary symbol of the city (along with the Fort).
Although, it is a 'thorn in the paw" of residents, and a pain in the stern for boaters it is also quite an important landmark. Traffic can get quite backed up on it during rush hour, and it is right across the access to the island side south of town. It has restricted opening hours, which can be very ideosyncratic and anyone going south of the ICW HAS to go under this bridge if they come into St. Augustine because the channel of the St. Augustine inlet shifts so much that it requires local knowledge to transit should one think about going south in the Atlantic Ocean.
Looking at it is free. I have a whole travelogue of pictures of the bridge. It is a symbol of the town.
From the Save Our Bridge website:
The Bridge of Lions is a Mediterranean style bascule bridge located in the heart of the National Historic Landmark District of St. Augustine, Florida, the nations oldest continuously occupied European settlement. The bridge, built in the Florida boom of the 1920's, with its graceful arches, tile-roofed towers and marble lions statues is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1976 it was recognized by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the most significant bridges in Florida and in 1997 it was placed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's list of "America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Structures".
This beautiful bridge spans the Matanzas River between downtown St. Augustine and Anastasia Island.
The lions have been temporarily removed during the bridges rehabilitation project.
The bridge was constructed in 1927. The lions were made to resemble the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence.
The bride is ornate and the access over to the island that has the lighthouse and museum, alligator farm, Marineland, and eateries.