The Bridge of Towers, between past and present

In October 1876, Johann Wolfgang Goethe visited Spoleto’s Bridge of Towers, and described – in his “Italian Journey” – his admiration for it: “ten brick arches which reach across the valley have stood there so quietly, and the water still flows in every corner of Spoleto. It is the third work of the ancients that I see, always of the same magnificent character. Their architecture is a second nature working for civil purposes.”

Probably built over an ancient Roman aqueduct, the Bridge of Towers owes its name to the Latin “pons inter turres”, which was attributed to it in the 1700s due to the towers – now open for visits – at its two ends. It is an imposing structure, 236 meters long and about 90 meters tall, sustained by ten arches (nine pillars with a base of ten by nine meters) that join Colle Sant’Elia and Monteluco. Its origins are uncertain: some say the bridge was built in the 13th century – an hypothesis supported by the Romanesque features of the central pillars – to renew the system by which the water coming from the river Cortaccione was carried to town.

Like Goethe, we can only be impressed by this mesmerizing and ancient stone crossing built between two mountains.

A bridge between past and present.

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December 18, 2013

The Bridge of Towers, between past and present

Via del Ponte