Broken Bridge – Pons Ruptus …

A large number of bridges in Rome connects the two banks of the Tiber. Some are modern, others date back to Roman times, others are modern reconstructions of ancient bridges. Right in the middle of the river where the current is very strong, across the Tiber Island and the old bridges Cestius and Fabricius, you can see a large stone arch which the Romans call the broken bridge ( pons ruptus ): it is what that remains of the ” Pons Aemilius”, which originally had six arches well. The construction of the bridge is usually attributed to the censors Marcus Aemilius Lepidus and Marcus Fulvius Nobiliore, but they they provided only in connection with the work that led to the opening Emporium in 179 d.C., to the foundation of the piers and the installation of a wooden walkway. Only in 142 a.C. The bridge was completed with the construction of the stone arches to the merits of the consuls Lucius and Publius Cornelius Emiliano Mummio. There are numerous legends associated with this bridge, for example, the historian tells us that in 222 d.C. Lampridio was thrown from the bridge into the river the body of the cruel emperor Heliogabalus, with a weight tied to prevent her return to the surface and was recovered. Instead, the poet Juvenal – in his Satire – Postumio recommended to her friend, who is about to marry, go jump off the bridge Emilio. In 1552 Michelangelo prepare plans for the strengthening of its structure, but the works are carried out, badly. In 1557, just five years after the restoration due to a flood, three arches collapsed. By Pope Gregory XIII, the City of Rome in the Jubilee year 1575 returned to its original strength and beauty Bridge Senators. On this occasion, the bridge was used to conduct the new pipeline in Trastevere Acqua Felice and supply in particular the fountain in Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere. Unfortunately, in December 1598, due to another huge flood, the river carried away the pipeline along with three of the six arches, which were no longer rebuilt. The middle of the bridge remained standing, anchored to the right bank, was transformed into a hanging garden, a sort of flowery balcony on the Tiber, until the end of 700′. In 1853 an engineer Mr. Peter Lanciani life returned to the bridge with the construction of a metal bridge supported by cables that connected it to the left bank. This solution lasted until 1887, when it was decreed the demolition of the footbridge and the creation of the new bridge and the adjacent Palatine. For technical reasons connected to this new building the old bridge was deprived of two of the three arches and finally dubbed “broken-bridge”, leaving as the only witness to the span still visible to this day .



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