The Ponte Sant’ Angelo was constructed in 134, during the reign of the emperor Hadrian (r. 117-138). The bridge was first known as Pons Aelius and served as a triumphal approach from the city to the mausoleum that Hadrian (whose full name was Publius Aelius Hadrianus) had just had built.
The bridge was later called the Pons Sancti Petri, as it was used by pilgrims to reach St Peter's Basilica. It was only at the end of the sixth century that it came to be known as the Ponte Sant' Angelo, following the transformation of the mausoleum into the Castel Sant’ Angelo.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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