About Ponte Sant Angelo

Ponte Sant Angelo is a Roman bridge built with five stone arches and seven-meter high piers supporting the entire bridge with five main spans of 18 meters each. The bridge's original name was Aelian Bridge, or Pons Aelius; tourists visit Ponte Sant Angelo to witness the beautiful view of Castel’s Sant’Angelo. Pope Clement VII built Saints Peter and Paul’s statues at the end of bridges in the 16th century, which are noteworthy and valuable in today’s world.


According to Ponte Sant Angelo History, in 1688, Gian Lorenzo Bernini made a significant addition by creating ten exquisite angel statues to adorn the bridge's parapets. Each angel symbolically carries items related to Jesus' crucifixion and suffering, with five statues on either side of the bridge. The angels' names include Angel carrying the Superscription, Angel carrying the Cross, Angel carrying the Nails, Angel carrying the Column, Angel carrying the Sudarium, Angel carrying the Garment and Dice, Angel carrying the Scourge, Angel carrying the Crown of Thorns, Angel carrying the Sponge, and Angel carrying the Lance. The presence of these angelic figures adds to the bridge's allure, drawing tourists and visitors who seek to immerse themselves in the profound history, culture, teachings, and legacy of Jesus. Ponte Sant'Angelo stands as both an architectural marvel and a significant reminder of the enduring impact of religious symbolism and artistry.

Ponte Sant’Angelo History

Ponte Sant’Angelo History

The bridge of St. Angelo was built 1900 years ago under the supervision of emperor Hadrian who passed the design by Demetrius. At that time the bridge was used across the river to transport materials from central Rome to the construction sites. And Ponte Sant Angelo's History reveals that the bridge became an essential route from the center of Rome to the Basilica with the construction of the Basilica of St. Peter in the 4th Century. Moreover, in the 16th century, under Pope Gregory I, the bridge and castle was named Sant Angelo, a saying that an Angel appeared on the roof to announce the end of the plague.


During the 1300th jubilee, two separate lanes were adjusted due to the mass number of pilgrims crossing the bridge. Then in the 1450th jubilee, the crowd of pilgrims drowned in the river as the bridge railing was destroyed. So the route was widened, and some of the houses on the bridge and the Roman triumphal arch were pulled down. Later in 1535, Pope Clement VII asked to build statues of the apostles Saint Peter, by Lorenzetto and Saint Paul by Paolo Romano. Four other patriarchs were also added, representing Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses.


Ponte Sant Angelo History states that after the 16th century, for years, the bridge was used to expose the dead bodies of those who were killed in the adjoining Piazza del Ponte. Later in 1699, Pope Clement IX ordered the replacement of the aging stucco angels on the bridge. Also, two arches were erected in the place of two Roman ramps to connect the bridge. And the bridge was ready only for the pedestrian to visit Ponte Sant Angelo and witness the beauty of Castel Sant’ Angelo.

Ponte Sant’Angelo Angels

Angel Carrying the Superscription
Angel Carrying the Superscription

The eighth angel, officially entrusted to Giulio Cartari and is a replica of Bernini's work. The angel's superscription reads INRI, which stands for "Jesus of Nazarene, King of the Jews." The inscription on this angel reads, "God has reigned from the tree," about the wood of the cross.


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Angel Carrying the Cross
Angel Carrying the Cross

This sculpture of Christ carrying the cross represents the cross he was forced to hold through Jerusalem before being crucified. Sculpted by Ercole Ferrata, the inscription on this statue reads, "Dominion rests on his shoulders." Although the sculpture is inferior to the others on the bridge, it appears to be a two-dimensional relief sculpture instead of a three-dimensional artwork.


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Angel Carrying the Sudarium
Angel Carrying the Sudarium

The angel is created of Veronica's Veil, which was wont to wipe the sweat and blood from his face as he carried the cross to his crucifixion. The inscription reads, "Look upon the face of your Christ." The bottom of this angel has been dented by a cannonball discharged during the papal defense of the Vatican in 1870.


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Angel Carrying the Nails
Angel Carrying the Nails

The nails accustomed to staking Christ on the cross feature prominently during this sculpture. "They will think me whom they need to be pierced," reads the inscription on the statue. The angel's body is disproportionately huge, her features are unusual, and her face is slim. Her hand extends to present a nail, while her left hand holds two others.


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Angel Carrying the Garment and Dice
Angel Carrying the Garment and Dice

The statue represents the instant when soldiers cast lots to decide who would receive Christ's seamless robe. "For my clothing, they cast lots," reads the inscription on the statue.


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Angel Carrying the Column
Angel Carrying the Column

Paolo Naldini sculpted it; the statue represents the instant when Roman soldiers cast dice to determine who would receive Christ's seamless robe. The figure represents when Roman soldiers release dice to decide who would accept Christ's robe. "For my clothing, they cast lots," reads the sculpture's inscription.


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Angel Carrying the Scourge
Angel Carrying the Scourge

The second angel shows the angel holding the whip used by the Romans to torment Jesus while he was bound to the column. The inscription on the sculpture reads, "I'm ready for the scourge," about the whip used by the Romans. Created by Lazzaro Morelli, the description on the statue reads, "I'm ready for the scourge."


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Angel Carrying the Crown of Thorns
Angel Carrying the Crown of Thorns

The crown, which was placed on Christ's head, appears on this sculpture as a part of the female parent Mary at the feet of the sinner. It had been sculpted by Pablo Naldini and completed by Bernini himself. The inscription reads, “The thorn is fastened upon me.”


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Angel Carrying the Sponge
Angel Carrying the Sponge

According to the gospels, one of the soldiers smeared vinegar on a stick and pressed it to Jesus' lips right before he died. The ninth angel, by Antonio Giorgetti, is shown observing the scene with deep sorrow.


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Book Castel Sant Angelo Tickets

Rome: Castel Sant’Angelo Fast Track Admission Tickets
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Rome Castel Sant Angelo Fast Track Admission Tickets
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Highlights
  • Marvel at centuries of ancient history within the castle walls at the museum

  • Explore 5 floors of the magnificent Castel Sant'Angelo Museum by booking your skip-the-line ticket

  • Enjoy stunning views from the city, river, and sunset from the terrace of the castle

  • Learn about the museum's past and how it served as a fortification against Barbarian attacks on the city

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Must Know Before You Go
  • You will have to climb a series of stairs to reach the panoramic terrace.
  • Participants are not allowed to carry any sharp object, lighter, luggage bag, alcohol, knife, etc.
  • All foreign nationals must share their passport and visa details at the time of arrival.
  • ID proof is mandatory for each individual guest at the time of arrival.
  • Age policies change according to the package. Please go through the policies in the package before booking.
  • Please note that the time slots may be subject to slight variations, and we will allocate a time slot available within a 30-minute window before or after your initial selection.
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    Ponte Sant’Angelo is a Roman bridge built by Roman Emperor Aelius Hadrian in 134 AD. You can read the different phases in Ponte Sant Angelo's History, where a bridge has faced different experiences.

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