Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Ponte dell'Ammiraglio in Palermo Dates to the 12th Century

This post is part of a thread about a Giuseppe Garibaldi "themed bicycle tour" design and implementation in Sicily. To see the whole thread click here.

The Ponte dell'Ammiraglio was one of the main entry points into Palermo from the east side.  The morning of May 27, 1860 the Bourbon troops attempted a meager defense of the bridge to keep Garibaldi, his thousand volunteers and the few thousand Sicilian peasants from entering Palermo.  They failed and Garibaldi's rag tag army occupied and took the city within three days, blockading the Bourbon troops in the castle and in one or two other major buildings in the city.

There's no river under the bridge any more, though it was originally built to bridge the Oreto River. A flood in 1938 changed the course of the river and the widening of the Via dei Mille made the bridge obsolete. It now sits in a park as a monument to Garibaldi and his thousand.

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