Pons Fabricius – Rome, Italy - Atlas Obscura

Pons Fabricius

This is the oldest Roman-made bridge in the city still existing in its original state.  


Pons Fabricius is a bridge located along the Tiber river in Rome. It connects the eastern shore of the Tiber Island to the mainland. This makes it one of only two bridges in the city not connecting the two banks of the river, the other being Pons Cestius west of the small island.

The bridge was constructed in 62 BC by Lucius Fabricius, a curator of roads in Rome, hence its namesake. The bridge is made of a tuff structure, reinforced with bricks and travertine. It also consists of two arches supported by a central pillar.

Pons Fabricius was restored multiple times over the centuries but has always retained its appearance, making it the oldest bridge in Rome to still be in its original state. It later became known as “Pons Judaeorum” (“Bridge of the Jews”) during the 16th-century.

The bridge has another alternative name, “Ponte dei Quattro Capi” (“Bridge of the Four Heads”). According to legends, when the bridge was restored during the late 16th-century, four architects couldn’t agree on repairs and often argued. This angered Pope Sixtus V, who had them all beheaded after the project was complete. A monument with four heads was constructed to remember them. However, this is likely a legend and the monument was simply moved to the site from another location. 

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