Bridge of Lions

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Bridge of Lions

Bridge of Lions

Bridge of Lions

The Bridge of Lions is one of the most loved symbols of St. Augustine

pb_sag8011_St Aug NightThe Bridge of Lions is one of the most loved symbols of St. Augustine, a perfect place to catch the cooling breezes off the Matanzas River or take a stroll as the sun is setting over the Old City.

After nearly two decades of restoration efforts, the bridge has been reconstructed and rehabilitated to look like the original span that connected the Old City with Anastasia Island in 1927.

The bridge gets its name from the two lions that guard the entrance to the bridge, a nod to founding father Ponce De Leon. In Spanish, leon means lion. The Carrara marble lions are replicas of those in the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence Italy. Like many elements of the original span, they were removed in 2005 and carefully stored during the reconstruction process.

The four distinctive bascule towers are part of the mechanism that opens the span for boat traffic. Their roofs have been restored using some of the original clay tiles. Other tiles manufactured around the same time and stockpiled were also used. Replacements were made by the original manufacturer, Luduwici of New Lexington, Ohio, a tile manufacturing company that has been in business since 1888.

The “most beautiful bridge in Dixie,” as it was called shortly after it opened, is back in operation. The final phase—returning the famous lions to their posts overlooking the city—is expected to be completed once the landscaping is finished in the fall. Be sure to come back in 2011 to see them. The lions are the city’s most popular site for a vacation photo!

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