Ponte di Tiberio (Bridge of Tiberius)
This 2,000-year-old Doric bridge is still open to pedestrian traffic to this day.
Many Roman bridges are still standing after two millennia, but the Bridge of Tiberius crossing the river Marecchia in Rimini is one of the very few that is still in use, and as integral a part of the local road system.
Construction on the bridge started in the year 14, at the end of the reign of Augustus. By the time it was completed in 21, Tiberius was the Emperor of Rome. An inscription on the bridge notes that it is devoted to both emperors, so it is also sometimes known as Bridge of Augustus or Bridge of Augustus and Tiberius. The simple bridge was built using Istrian stone and it marked the beginning of two important Roman roads, Via Aemilia towards Piacenza, and Via Popilia-Annia towards Aquileia.
The structure survived battles and natural disasters but risked destruction during World War II. In 1944, the Battle of Rimini took place between the Allied powers and Germany. In an attempt to stop the Allied offensive, the Germans destroyed all the bridges on the Marecchia River, but the Bridge of Tiberius resisted every attempt at destruction, with even the explosive charges failing to ignite.
Today, some 2,000 years after its construction, the Bridge of Tiberius remains open to pedestrian traffic. (Until recently some cars were allowed to cross, but now the bridge is closed to vehicular traffic.)
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