Wednesday, January 3, 2018


It's the ancient Pons Aemilius, the first of Rome to be constructed in stone, erected in two phases:
1) 181/179 BC by Marcus Emilius Lepidus and Marcus Fulvius Nobilior who erected pillars supporting a wooden walkway
2) 142 BC by Publius Scipio and Lucius Mummius who replaced the wooden walkway with arches
It was repeatedly destroyed by the floods of the Tiber and repeatedly rebuilt
It took the name of PONTE S. MARIA (St. Mary's Bridge) e di PONTE SENATORIO (Bridge of the Senate)
Various architects tried to rebuild it including Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475/1564) in the years 1548/50
He had not rebuilt it yet when in 1551 the new Pope Julius III Ciocchi del Monte (1550/55) pulled off the task to be given to Giovanni Lippi aka Nanni di Baccio Bigio (about 1513/68) who completed the bridge in 1552
Michelangelo didn't value Nanni di Baccio Bigio at all and frowned. One day he passed in a carriage on the bridge and turned to Giorgio Vasari, who accompanied him, and said: “George, this bridge trembles beneath; urge the ride so that does not ruin while we are on it”
Indeed, the bridge did not last long: in 1557 the Tiber River destroyed it
In the years 1573/75 the bridge was rebuilt again by Matteo Bartolani da Città di Castello (about 1527/about 1598) for Gregory XIII Boncompagni (1572/85) who wanted it ready for the Holy Year of 1575
The papal coat of arms of Gregory XIII is still present on the bridge
It was finally destroyed during the flood of the Tiber in 1598, the largest ever recorded. It is estimated that at that time the river flow reached about 4000 m³/s, compared with a normal flow of about 240 m³/s

No comments:

Post a Comment