The Bridge of Sighs

“I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs;
A palace and a prison on each hand:
I saw from out the wave of her structures rise
As from the stroke of the enchanter’s wand:
A thousand years their cloudy wings expand
Around me, and a dying Glory smiles
O’er the far times, when many a subject land
Look’d to the winged Lion’s marble piles,
Where Venice sate in state, thron’d on her hundred isles!”

-Lord Byron (Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage: Canto the Fourth) 

At the time that this photograph was taken I knew relatively little about the history of Venice and it’s remarkable landmarks. I took this picture because I thought the covered bridge was beautiful with the canal below it (and because my husband had stopped to shoot it). This was also taken a few minutes before we became absolutely lost in Venice – I think getting lost at least once is mandatory there.

Built between the 16th and 17th centuries, the Bridge of Sighs was created as a connection between the Doge’s Palace and the Prison. Apparently, (according to some theories) it is called the Bridge of Sighs because, out of those two small windows, prisoners would sigh at their last glimpse of Venice before heading to their prison cells, or to be executed – this idea was largely popularized by Byron’s poem, partially quoted above.

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