Ponte dell'Ammiraglio

Palermo, Italy

The Admiral's Bridge (Ponte dell'Ammiraglio) is a medieval bridge of Palermo. It was built over the Oreto River during the era of the Norman Sicily by the ammiratus ammiratorum George of Antioch. In 2015, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of a series of nine civil and religious structures inscribed as Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale.

According to a legend, the bridge is situated in the place where the Archangel Michael appeared to the Norman Count Roger I of Sicily helping him to conquer Palermo, at that time an Islamic bastion.It was completed in 1131, a year after the incoronation of Roger II as first King of Sicily. The construction was supervised by the admiral George of Antioch, the most powerful man of the Kingdom after Roger II. The bridge had the function to connect the capital to the royal gardens located across the Oreto River, like the Favara Park. Even now, the structure represents a symbol connecting the historic centre to the peripheral quarter of Brancaccio.

Since then, the bridge has been repeatedly damaged by the Oreto's overflowes. For this reason, as long ago as 1775, an attempt was made to divert the river. However, it was not until 1938 that the Oreto was definitely diverted and canalized. Seven years before, in February 1931, Palermo had been plagued by a terrible flood.

Thanks to its strategic position, on 27 May 1860, the bridge was the place of a famous battle between the Red Shirts of Giuseppe Garibaldi and the army of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies during the Expedition of the Thousand.

 

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User Reviews

Tony Duffy (2 months ago)
A stunning example of a Norman bridge.
Bianca (4 months ago)
It's a pity that an UNESCO spot is this abandoned. It is a far walk from the central area in a weird, dirty neighborhood and it is pretty boring. You can go by bus and/or tram but as you can't trust the public transport I walked and it was not a good experience. It's a bridge without any water around. The block/park is not well maintained, pretty or comfortable.
Daniel Gomez (11 months ago)
One curiosity
Mihaela Abraham (12 months ago)
Old and beautiful bridge. Very well preserved BUT the bridge stays in a very dirty neiborhood with almost no place to walk! Garbage and ''dog's presents'' all over! As a counsel to those who still want to see the place I think is better not to walk to there. Take a cab or, I've seen a tram car from Central Palermo station. Walking spoiled all our experience! Do not spoil yours.
Giulio Luzzardi (2 years ago)
The magnificent bridge.
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