CONTIN, Antonio
(b. 1566, Lugano, d. 1616, Venezia)

The Bridge of Sighs

c. 1602
Photo
Riva degli Schiavoni, Venice

While most of the cells were in the Prigioni Nuove, the courtroom and offices for the administration of justice were in the Doges' Palace. To avoid long and dangerous movements of prisoners through the city, the Doge Marino Grimani had a new bridge built across the canal between the two buildings. Romantically called the "Bridge of Sighs," it is functionally designed with two narrow passages to facilitate movement in both directions. It served mainly for prisoners awaiting judgment.