Bridge of Sighs (Venice)

Insider tip:
Travel comfortably without queues, buy tickets online beforehand:





 


After the Rialto Bridge, the Bridge of Sighs is probably the second most internationally known bridge of Venice. The Bridge of Sighs connects the Doge's Palace, the seat of the head of state of the former Venice, with a former prison.


The Bridge of Sighs photographed from the Ponte della Paglia
 

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).

Important: Long queues and fast admission to the Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs

More and more visitors come to Venice, many say the city is bursting at the seams. The majority of the approximately 15 million guests per year in Venice want to see the big sights, including in any case the Palace of the Doge and the legendary walk over the Bridge of Sighs. There are often very long queues at the entrance of the Doge's Palace, there are often extremely long waiting times.

To our knowledge there is only one possibility for tourists not to have to queue in the long queue. You buy a ticket online in advance. Guided tours, tickets and further information can be found on the following website:

>>>   On this link you can buy a ticket online in advance

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.


The Ponte della Paglia, with the Prigioni nuove prison in the background.

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


If you are standing in front of the Doge's Palace you simply walk a few meters to the right. You are already next to famous bridge "Ponte dei Sospiri".


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.

 

Important: This article was translated by a non-native English speaking person. We apologize for mistakes.











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