Ponte Sant Angelo

In 136 CE, Emperor Hadrian built a bridge to access his grave from the city center. But Bernini, in 1668, brought it to life by creating angel sculptures that tower tall on the bridge. 

The Tiber River is crossed by the travertine marble bridge, which has five arches, three of which are Roman. 

Now exclusively used by walkers, the bridge provides a stunning perspective of Castel Sant’Angelo. 

Learn about the Ponte Sant Angelo in Rome’s history and the statues that adorn it.

Purchase your Castel Sant’Angelo tickets in advance and enjoy the unmatched views of the Tiber River and the city’s most iconic sites.

You will also get an excellent chance to get Ponte Sant Angelo bridge images.


The Ponte Sant’Angelo, or St. Angelo Bridge, was built some 1,900 years ago and is one of just two old Roman Tiber River bridges that still stand today. 

After Nero’s Bridge was destroyed, travelers were required to cross it to approach St Peter’s Basilica, gaining the nickname “bridge of Saint Peter.”

Pope Gregory I bestowed the name Sant’Angelo to the castle and the bridge in the sixth century after seeing an angel appear on the castle’s roof to announce the end of the plague. 

For many years following the 16th century, the bridge exposed the bodies of individuals slaughtered in the adjacent Piazza del Ponte.

Pope Clement IX commissioned Bernini 1669 to rebuild the bridge’s decaying stucco angels.

The Roman ramps connecting the bridge to the two banks were destroyed during the late-nineteenth-century construction of the Lungotevere. 

In their stead, two similar arches were built. 

The bridge of Angels Rome is presently only for walkers, providing a stunning view of Castel Sant’Angelo.

Opening Hours: 
Monday to Sunday: 9 am to 7.30 pm

It remains closed on 1 January, 1 May 1st, and 25 December 25th.

The best time to visit Ponte Sant Angelo is during the summer when the weather is nice. 

However, this is also the busiest time of year for tourists in Rome. 

March and November are ideal if you want to take your time and investigate the structure’s intricate details.

Grab your Castel Sant Angelo tickets and immerse yourself in the enchanting allure of the iconic Ponte Sant’Angelo bridge. 

Wander across the bridge that has stood for centuries, connecting the past with the present. 

Angels on the Ponte Sant’Angelo bridge 

Angels on the Ponte Sant’Angelo bridge
Image: Hotels.com

In the 16th century, Pope Clement VII imposed a toll on Ponte Sant’Angelo and used the money to create St. Peter and St. Paul sculptures. 

In 1688, the bridge was adorned with ten angel statues, five on each side of the bridge, all carved by Lorenzo Bernini. 

Each angel carries a symbol representing Jesus’ death and suffering.

Angel carrying the Column

This angel carries a column, symbolizing the pillar to which Christ was bound while being whipped. 

Angel with the Scourge

The second angel depicts an angel holding the whip the Romans used to torture Jesus while confined to the Column. 

The inscription on the sculpture, created by Lazzaro Morelli, says, “I’m ready for the scourge.”

Angel with the Crown of Thorns

Angel with the Crown of Thorns
Image: Wikimedia.org

This sculpture depicts the crown placed on Christ’s head. Pablo Naldini sculpted it, and Bernini finished it personally. 

Angel carrying the Sudarium

The angel is shown with Veronica’s Veil, which bears the imprint of Jesus’ face after being used to wipe the sweat and blood from his face as he carried the cross to his crucifixion. 

A cannonball fired during the papal defense of the Vatican in 1870 dented the base of this figure.

Angel with a Garment and a Dice

The monument, created by Paolo Naldini, depicts the moment Roman soldiers rolled dice to select who would receive Christ’s seamless robe.

Angel in Charge of the Nails

This sculpture depicts the nails used to nail Christ to the cross. This angel is notable for her huge body compared to her head, odd features, and narrow face. 

The angel extends her right hand to present a nail while her left-hand carries two more nails. 

The Angel with the Cross

“Dominion rests on his shoulders,” says the inscription on this statue, which Ercole Ferrata sculpted. 

The cross signifies the cross Christ was compelled to shoulder before being crucified. 

The sculpture looks like a two-dimensional relief rather than an unbounded three-dimensional artwork, making it inferior to the others on the bridge.

Angel, with the Superscription

Angel, with the Superscription
Image: Wikimedia.org

The seventh angel, assigned to Giulio Cartari, reproduces Bernini’s painting. 

The superscription of the angel reads INRI, which stands for “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews,” and depicts the sign affixed to the cross over Jesus’ head. 

The drapery appears to be inserted after completing the body sculpture. “God has reigned from the tree,” the inscription on this angel says, referring to the wood of the cross.

Angel with the Sponge

Antonio Giorgetti’s ninth angel is portrayed surveying the scene with intense grief. “They gave me vinegar to drink,” the inscription says.

Angel with the Lance

The lance symbolizes the weapon used by Roman troops to stab Jesus’ side, pierce his chest, and certify his death before lowering him from the cross. 

Featured Image: Wikipedia.org

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