Bridge of Sighs (Venice)
Travel comfortably without queues, buy tickets online beforehand:
The construction of the bridge was around the year 1600. Actually, the approximately 10 meters building, about in the 1st floor over the canal Rio di Palazzo, is nothing special. The Bridge of Sighs is famous because of its function. Prisoners were brought back to prison on the bridge after the trial and conviction in the Doge's Palace. Many people were sentenced to very long sentences or death.
The Ponte dei Sospiri, as the Bridge of Sighs is called in the local language, has two barred windows on both sides. Through these windows the condemned could see the city of Venice for the last time while crossing the bridge to prison. The last glimpse of freedom and beautiful Venice, at least in the imagination of the namesake of the Bridge of Sighs, led to a deep sigh among the prisoners. Within the closed bridge there are, by the way, two separate ways. One led to the court (thus to the Doge's Palace), the other back to prison. The prison (top right in the picture) is called "Prigioni nuove" (New Prison) because it was a new prison at that time.
The Bridge of Sighs also became world famous for its many paintings, books and films. "The Bridge of Sighs" is the name of an opera by Jacques Offenbach from 1861. An American love story called "A little Romance" from 1979 deals with the romantic view of the famous building. The English name of the Bridge of Sighs is "Bridge of Sighs", the Italian name is "Ponte dei Sospiri".
Visit of the Bridge of Sighs
There is the possibility for tourists to view the Bridge of Sighs from the outside without an entrance fee. If you want to cross the bridge on foot and look inside, you have to visit the Doge's Palace (more info here).
From the outside you can see the Bridge of Sighs, as in the picture above, from the public pedestrian bridge Ponte della Paglia (translated Straw Bridge) next to the Doge's Palace along the sea. In summer, there is so much going on on the small bridge that you can hardly enter the bridge. At the same time, hundreds of tourists want to view and photograph the Bridge of Sighs from the little Ponte della Paglia. In the summer, the Ponte della Paglia has to be sometimes even closed due to the big crowd.
If you visit the Doge's Palace, you will cross the Bridge of Sighs twice. After admiring the splendour and splendour of the Doge's Palace, the path leads to the Prigioni nuove prison via the left passage inside the Ponte dei Sospiri. Then you can see several dozen rooms of the former prison. Next, on the other side, you return to the Doge's Palace via the Bridge of Sighs. This time one has the famous view to the Ponte della Paglia and the sea. But the bars are so thick that one hardly sees anything. Photographing through one of the two windows (see picture above) is hardly possible. Also the prisoners probably didn't see much more during their famous last view from the small bridge.
Venice city map with Bridge of Sighs
Short video Bridge of Sighs (about 30 seconds)
The famous bridge is part of the large Palazzo Ducale building (on the left in the picture) in the San Marco district and is near St. Mark's Square.