Have you every heard of the Ponte Rotto, originally known as the Pons Aemilius? It’s a famous broken bridge in Rome Italy and a historical landmark in stone masonry. Check out this blog post, shared from our company site PetrilloStone.com:
Originally named the Pons Aemilius, it was built in 179 B.C. and is one of the only remaining examples of Roman Republican architecture. It was constructed to connect the cattle farm on the eastern bank with Trastevere on the western bank. However, no one has been able to cross it since Christmas Eve 1598, when floods carried the eastern part away.
Ancient Stone Masonry in the Ponte Rotto
What was really remarkable, though, was that it was one of the first stone Roman bridges. At the time, bridges were wooden and entirely supported on timber piles. Instead, the Pons Aemilius was constructed of a wooden roadbed, supported by five stone pillars.
The stone used was locally quarrified volcanic tufa, a form of volcanic ash. The stone was laid in ashlar masonry style, or an interlocking style of horizontal and vertical slabs set in parallel courses.
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