Venice is famous for stunning structures and one of them is Ponte Di Rialto or the Rialto Bridge. Located just at the heart of the bustling city, Rialto Bridge is the oldest bridge over the Grand Canal. It connects two of the busiest spots in Venice – San Polo and San Marco.
The view from the bridge offers you an interesting perspective of the busy city streets and the surrounding landscape. Let’s take you on a walk down the memory lane and present a couple of interesting facts about the Rialto Bridge. Read on!
Rialto Bridge History
Let’s begin with an interesting fact – until 1854, Rialto Bridge was the only bridge across the Grand Canal. The first bridge that was built over Grand Canal was the Pontoon Bridge in 12th century. This bridge succumbed to the heavy traffic and was soon replaced with a wooden structure. However, in 1444, this wooden structure also collapsed. After this, the Rialto Bridge was designed during the sixteenth century to replace that wooden structure. A competition was held to design its architecture. The best architects of that time, including Michelangelo and Palladio, submitted designs for building this bridge. However, the design suggested by Antonio da Ponte was finally selected.
Building the Bridge
The bridge took 3 long years to be completed. Lack of funds and other unstable circumstances delayed the construction. People grew critical of it as the merchants involved in its construction were making losses. However, the long wait was worth it; it’s been renowned as the architectural and engineering masterpiece of
Renaissance. It has inspired many artists and has been portrayed in paintings such as Miracle of the Relic of the Cross at the Ponte di Rialto.
Life Span Controversy
This bridge is a single span bridge, that is, it is anchored at both the ends with nothing to support the middle section. The engineers of the bridge were skeptical about the design. They predicted that this won’t last long. The design was considered an audacious one. But Antonio da ultimately silenced all his critics with this genius design.Today, the Rialto Bridge stands with elan and is a prime tourist attraction in Venice.
The amazing architecture of the Rialto Bridge has stood the test of time and continues to amaze the tourists. It has become the most visited and most photographed place in Venice.