Completed in AD 134, the Ponte Sant’Angelo is arguably Rome’s most famous bridge, famous for the 10 statues of angels that line its span, as well as the statues of Saints Peter and Saint Paul at the end of the bridge. The marble angel statues come in different shapes, each holding religious objects in their hands. People come from all over the world to take photos of the angel statue and the coast. Next, I will take you to appreciate the beauty of the ten marble angel statues.
The History of Ponte Sant’Angelo
In the 4th century AD, when St. Peter’s Basilica was built, the bridge became an important route from the center of Rome to the cathedral. During the penitential procession, Pope Gregory I saw the Archangel Michael sheathing a bloody sword and thought it was a sign that the plague that had ravaged Rome for many years was finally over. To commemorate this event, a statue of an angel was placed on top of the mausoleum, and the building began to be called Castel Sant’Angelo, and the bridge began to be called Ponte Sant’Angelo. The name was further cemented by the appearance of angel statues in the 16th century.
Marble angel statues tell the story of Christ’s Passion in chronological order, starting on the right side of the southern end of the bridge and winding toward Castel Sant’Angelo, with inscriptions beneath each angel describing the moment of the Passion. As beautiful as the Bridge of Angels is today, it was once used to display the bodies of executed criminals.
10 Famous Marble Angel Statues on Ponte Sant’Angelo
1.Angel with the Column by Antonio Raggi
Starting from Campo Marzio, we first encounter the marble Angel with the Column statue, sculpted by Antonio Raggi, symbolizing the Flagellation as the beginning of the Passion of Christ.
2.Angel with the Whips by Lazzaro Morelli
Continuing forward we see the Angel with the Whips carved by Lazzaro Morelli, which implies that Jesus was scourged. Jesus remained unmoved in the face of false temptations, and then received a brutal scourging.
3.Angel with the Crown of Thorns by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and son Paolo
The Angel with the Crown of Thorns statue depicts the scene of angels removing thorns from Jesus’ head after his death on the cross. After Jesus was scourged, Roman soldiers “weaved a crown of thorns and put it on his head” before his crucifixion.
4.Angel with the Sudarium by Cosimo Fancelli
5.Angel with the Garment and Dice by Paolo Naldini
6.Angel with the Nails by Girolamo Lucenti
7.Angel with the Cross by Ercole Ferrata
8.Angel with the Superscription by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and son Paolo
In angel’s hand is a broad, horizontally unfolded scroll, said to be inscribed with the words “Jesus of the Nazir, King of the Jews.”
9.Angel with the Sponge by Antonio Giorgetti
10.Angel with the Lance by Domenico Guidi
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