Posted by: Debra Kolkka | October 28, 2015

The other bridge in Florence

The Ponte Santa Trinita is the bridge you see from the Ponte Vecchio. The very elegant bridge is the oldest elliptic arch bridge in the world. It is the work of Ammananti, built between 1567 and 1569, replacing previous wooden bridges over the Arno.

Ponte Santa Trinita

In 1608 the bridge was embellished by four statues representing the seasons.

Spring and summer…

Ponte Santa Trinita

Autumn and winter…

Ponte Santa Trinita

Ponte Santa Trinita

The magnificent goat’s head medallions in the centre of the middle arch are a reference to Cosimo di Medici’s Zodiac sign, Capricorn.

Ponte Santa Trinita

During WWII Ponte Santa Trinita was bombed, along with all the other bridges in Florence, except the Ponte Vecchio. It was replaced by the British military with a Bailey Bridge.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Ponte Santa Trinita

After the war Florentines and the Italian government determined to rebuild the bridge. The Arno was damned and the bridge rubble was dragged from the mud at the bottom. Extra stone was mined from the same quarry as the original and every care was taken by architect Riccardo Gizdulich to recreate the bridge using the techniques of the original builders.

The four statues were recovered, put back together, except for the head of Spring, which was not found. The statues were replaced in their original positions and the bridge was declared open in 1958. Spring’s head was found by a diver in 1961 and the statue was complete.

Ponte Santa Trinita

Ponte Santa Trinita plays second fiddle to the Ponte Vecchio, but I think it is every bit as beautiful. Here are a few more photos I have gathered.

Ponte Santa Trinita

Ponte Santa Trinita

Ponte Santa Trinita

 


Responses

  1. I like to think that the elegance of those arches was Michelangelo’s doing. I always admire it!

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  2. I think all photos out of Italy are so gorgeous. Love these statues and bridges.

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    • Italy makes a very good subject for photos. It is a gorgeous country.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fascinating history. So fantastic that they rebuilt the bridge from the original stones and later found Spring’s head.

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    • I am very pleased they found poor Spring’s head.

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  4. I love this bridge so much. I have a few of these same pictures (the first one in your post which is framed in my house!) Love reading the history of the bridge and seeing your beautiful photos. In person, this structure literally makes my heart beat fast. Grazie!

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    • I would like to have taken better photos of the statues, but the light was in the wrong place and it was an overcast day, but the bridge always looks good. I’m with you, the bridge always makes my heart sing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thanks for the follow! fun to see your name pop up. 🙂

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  5. Great pics … but the story is awesome!

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    • So many buildings around the bridges were destroyed as well…so many treasures.

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  6. It must have been such a wonderful feeling to work on and achieve its restoration.

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    • It must have been a great day when it was completed, even without the head.

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  7. It is a beautiful bridge, very elegant, and it was fortunate that they were able to rebuild it after its destruction. It was customary for the Nazi army to destroy all facilities in their retreat. In Bagni di Lucca the Ponte Nuovo (not that new as it dates back to 1736 when it replaced the Ponte Vecchio, located a few yards away) was also damaged. It was lucky that they did not blow up the Devil’s Bridge….

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    • Apparently the only reason the Devil’s Bridge was not bombed was that they thought it was not wide enough to drive over, but the allies had some narrow jeeps that could do so.

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  8. Thank you for posting this. It is very interesting and informative. I love Firenze and I love looking at this bridge from Ponte Vecchio.

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    • I love to stand on the Ponte Vecchio and look across to that lovely bridge. The Arno looks very beautiful on a good day.

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  9. Great post, I love that they put in the effort to restore it after being bombed.

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  10. What a lovely bridge!

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  11. It always amazes me how well preserved and restored so many things are especially when you consider how old they are.

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  12. How bizarre! I just started watching the movie “Miracle at St Anna” and ten minutes in the missing head from the primavera is found. I thought to myself, didn’t I just read about this on Debra’s blog. Never heard about it before and now I’ve heard about it twice in two days. Now I’m off to finish watching the movie.

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    • I have seen that movie. It was filmed in Colognora, not far from Bagni di Lucca and Vergemoli, where Casa Debbio is, was mentioned. I have also been to Santa Anna di Stazemma where the massacre took place. The movie is a work of fiction, based on some things that actually took place.

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      • I finished watching the movie and was shocked by the atrocities. It is devastating thinking of those terrified civilians, men, women and children murdered and knowing some of those murderers are still living and have never been bought to justice. And yes, I see now how the inclusion of the statue’s head in the movie is purely fictional.

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