Bridge of Sighs

Venice, Italy

The Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri) passes over the Rio di Palazzo and connects the New Prison (Prigioni Nuove) to the interrogation rooms in the Doge's Palace. The enclosed bridge is made of white limestone, has windows with stone bars, and It was designed by Antonio Contino and was built in 1600.

The view from the Bridge of Sighs was the last view of Venice that convicts saw before their imprisonment. The bridge's name, given by Lord Byron as a translation from the Italian 'Ponte dei sospiri' in the 19th century, comes from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice through the window before being taken down to their cells. In reality, the days of inquisitions and summary executions were over by the time the bridge was built, and the cells under the palace roof were occupied mostly by small-time criminals. In addition, little could be seen from inside the bridge due to the stone grills covering the windows.

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Castello 4242, Venice, Italy
See all sites in Venice

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Founded: 1600
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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

philippa driscoll (8 months ago)
You can only access this from inside the doges Palace. It is a fully enclosed bridge between the Palace and the Old prison cells. Best viewed from the 2 bridges either side of the bridge of sighs.
Bao Bao (9 months ago)
It looks so much nicer in the night time rather than day time because of the crowd of people. I am very impressed by its architecture.
jasmine xu (12 months ago)
Very famous, but very small bridge. This bridge is so short and small, if you visit Venice for the first time, you may not even find it. However, what matters is the history related to it and the sad and mysterious stories associated with it. The surrounding areas next to the bridge was very fun and exciting! You can visit the Duke's Palace, riding or watching the gondolas and enjoying the ocean view of the San Mark's Square, or even do some shopping, have some coffee and listen to the music. When I visited this bridge at night time, I was sitting on those shining and smooth bench next to it, I felt that every moment was so precious, since I don't even know how many people have been passing by or sitting on the same spot before, from all over the world!
Nikolai Alexander Kulow (15 months ago)
They shackled me up and led me across this bridge to a little mini restaurant. They said I could order anything I liked. I couldn't believe my luck. i ordered lobster and filet steak. With a bit of red wine. Really nice! Can't wait to see what's coming next.
Tibor Bálint (16 months ago)
Knowing this Bridge from some Hungarian songs. The history of this Bridge can be sad, but if you didn't do anything bad, you never had the chance (luckily) to cross this bridge. It was extremely crowded during the day times in 2017, but as there are less tourists in Venice this days its easier to approach and take some good shots. ;)
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