Bridge of Sighs

Venice's Iconic Bridge of Sighs

The Doge's Palace is a palace located in Venice, Italy, and was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the former Venetian Republic. The palace was built in the 14th century and underwent several renovations and expansions throughout the centuries. It served not only as a residence but also as a seat of government and justice.

The Doge's palace bridge of Sighs is a famous bridge located in Venice, Italy, that connects the Doge's Palace with the Prigioni Nuove (New Prison). The Bridge of Sighs is an iconic symbol of Venice, and its historical significance is both architectural and cultural. The bridge is a masterpiece of engineering, with its white limestone facade and delicate stone tracery. It is also a symbol of the power and justice of the Venetian Republic, and the view from the bridge is a reminder of the harsh reality of life in the Doge's Palace prison. Today, the Bridge of Sighs is one of the most visited and photographed landmarks in Venice and attracts millions of tourists every year.

History and Myths of Doge's Palace Bridge of Sighs

Legends and Myths

Construction & Design:

  • Built between 1600 and 1603 by architect Antonio Contino
  • Made of white limestone with two separate corridors
  • The name comes from the belief that prisoners would sigh at their last glimpse of Venice

Original Function and Purpose:

  • Connects the Doge's Palace with the New Prison across the Rio di Palazzo canal
  • Used to transport prisoners from the interrogation rooms to their cells
  • Designed to prevent communication and escape attempts

Renovations and Restorations:

  • It went under various restorations and renovations over the period of time
  • In the 1800s, new windows and a roof were added
  • In the 20th century, it was restored to repair damage from air pollution and reinforce its structure.

Also Read About History of Doge's Place >>

Romantic Legends:

  • The Doge's palace Bridge of Sighs is said to bring good luck in love to couples who kiss under it at sunset.
  • Legend has it that if a couple kisses on a gondola under the bridge at sunset while the bells of St. Mark's Campanile toll, then it is believed that their love will last forever.

Dark and Spooky Legends:

  • Some believe that the ghost of a woman who was falsely accused and executed for adultery haunts the bridge.
  • Another legend claims that the bridge is cursed because it was built on an ancient cemetery and that the ghosts of the buried bodies haunt the bridge.

Real Stories of the Bridge's History:

  • The Doge's palace Bridge of Sighs was an essential part of the Venetian justice system, with prisoners often being transported across it to their cells in the New Prison.
  • In the 19th and 20th centuries, the bridge was also used as a passage for prisoners being taken to court hearings.
  • During World War II, the bridge was bombed and damaged, but it was later restored. Today, it remains one of Venice's most popular tourist attractions.

Architecture of the Bridge of Sighs

The Doge’s palace Bridge of Sighs is a breathtaking architectural masterpiece that is admired by tourists from all over the world. The exterior design of the bridge is adorned with intricate decorations, including statues of lions and cherubs. The white limestone facade contrasts with the dark iron bars on the windows, added in the 19th century, giving it an aura of mystery and intrigue.

The interior of the bridge is divided into two corridors, one for the prisoners and one for the guards. The prison corridor is narrow and dimly lit, with small windows that only allow limited light to enter. In contrast, the guard corridor is wider and brighter, with larger windows. The bridge's unique double-corridor design allowed for the separation of the prisoners and guards, providing security and privacy.

The bridge's engineering design is a testament to the skill and creativity of its architects. The structure is made of stone arches that support the weight of the bridge and resist the force of the water. The bridge was also built with a slight upward slope to prevent water from entering the prison during high tides. These engineering marvels ensure the bridge's longevity, which has been standing for over 400 years.

Read more about Doge's Palace Architecture >>


What is the Bridge of Sighs named after?

The Bridge of Sighs is named after the sighs of prisoners who were transported across it, as they took their last glimpse of the beautiful city before being imprisoned.

Can tourists visit the Doge’s Palace Bridge of Sighs?

Tourists can view the Doge’s palace Bridge of Sighs from the outside as it connects the Doge's Palace to the prison, but it is not possible to access the interior of the bridge as it is part of the prison and not open to the public.

What is the significance of the Bridge of Sighs in literature and art?

The Doge’s palace Bridge of Sighs has been a popular subject in literature and art, often symbolizing the transition from freedom to imprisonment, life to death, or hope to despair. It has been featured in works by Lord Byron, Henry James, and John Singer Sargent, among others.

Why is the Bridge of Sighs famous?

The Bridge of Sighs is famous for its stunning architecture and rich history. It has become a symbol of Venice, attracting millions of tourists every year who come to admire its intricate design, learn about its past, and take in the romantic and spooky legends that surround it.

What is the significance of Doge's Palace in Venetian history?

The Doge's Palace is a significant historical landmark in Venice as it served as the center of political power for the Republic of Venice for centuries. It was the residence of the Doge, the leader of the Venetian Republic, and the location where the governing councils met to discuss and make decisions.


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