Ponte Scaligero di Castelvecchio, Verona

The Ponte Scaligero or the Scala Bridge is an impressive, fortified bridge in Verona and was built purely as an escape route from the castle to the countryside and the Tyrol and Germany beyond, this was in the event of a rebellion of the population against his tyrannic rule. Built in 1354-56, it has been called “A triumphal Arch of a Waterway”. Mystery surrounds the architect of this magnificent bridge but it thought that it was most likely Guglielmo Bevilacqua, although other names have been mentioned but no evidence to support them. At the time of its construction the arch bridge had the world’s largest span at 48.7 m. Whoever designed the bridge did a wonderful job, and very daring for its time. The arches span 48.7 m, 29.15 m and 24.11 m, the base of the pillars were stone and the remainder of the bridge was constructed in red brick. There was also a tower at the end of the bridge towards the Campagnola, but this was destroyed by the French in 1802. The strength of the bridge allowed it to be virtually untouched for centuries until the French troops destroyed the tower, but it was on April 24th 1945 that the bridge was totally destroyed by retreating German troops. Restoration began in 1949 and was completed in 1951 with the exception of the tower, the rebuilt tower is a complete copy of the original.

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