Saturday, December 30, 2017


109 BC for the censor Marcus Aemilius Scaurus who wanted to replace a wooden bridge that had been built at the end of the third century BC
It was originally called Mulvius and the name was corrupted in the Middle Ages to MOLLE (soft)
There are only few traces of the original bridge left in the two arches closer to the left bank
Near the bridge took place on October 28, 312 AD the famous BATTLE OF THE MILVIAN BRIDGE between the pretenders to the Roman imperial throne Constantine (306/337) and Maxentius (306/312), after which the Christian religion was legalized by Constantine who had won
Present bridge arranged in 1805 by Giuseppe Valadier (1762/1839) for the return to Rome of Pius VII Chiaramonti (1800/23)
Pius VII in 1804 had crowned Napoleon Emperor in Paris. He was arrested in the Quirinal Palace in 1809 and taken to France. He returned to Rome again in 1814 when he reestablished the order of the Jesuits in the world
One of the arches of the bridge was blown up by supporters of Garibaldi in 1849 to try to delay the entry of the French army
Restored in 1850 and in 1871 by Francesco Azzurri (1831/1901) for Pius IX Mastai-Ferretti (1846/78)
Statues on the southern end:
On the left “St. John of Nepomuk” protector of the dangers of drowning by Agostino Cornacchini 1731 (1683/1740)
On the right “Immaculate” 1840 by Domenico Piggiani
St. John of Nepomuk was a Bohemian priest who in 1393 in Prague was tortured, throwed off a bridge and drowned by order of King Wenceslaus of Bohemia
He was the confessor of the queen and it seems that he had refused to reveal the secrets that she had confessed. He was canonized in 1729 and is the patron saint of the dangers of drowning
Statues on the northern end:
Group of two statues “St. John the Baptist baptizing Jesus” 1633/44 by Francesco Mochi (1580/1654)
It was originally carved for S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini but it was never placed there and was moved here instead. It was moved again in 1956 to the Museo di Roma at Palazzo Braschi and replaced with a copy
After the success of the 2006 book for teens Ho voglia di te (I want you) written by Federico Moccia and the eponymous film of 2007 it became customary for young lovers to put a pad lock on the lampposts of the bridge and throw the keys into the Tiber in imitation of a scene from the movie
In July 2007, after the collapse of the lamps due to the excessive weight given the enormous quantity of padlocks, the municipality of Rome has installed some pillars adjacent to each lamp to which some chains for the padlocks have been attached, safeguarding the integrity of the street lamps
In 2012, in preparation for a celebration on the anniversary of the Battle of the Milvian Bridge the municipality of Rome decided to remove the padlocks and set up a garrison of guards against the lovers with padlocks
Love however won again and many young lovers managed to circumvent the defense and fix their padlocks all the same

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