Rialto Bridge
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Rialto Bridge

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Antonio Da Ponte

Antonio Da Ponte (1512- 1597) was a Venetian architect and engineer famous for having directed the work on the reconstruction of the Rialto Bridge (1588-91) and working on the construction of the Chiesa del Redentore designed by Andrea Palladio.

In 1551 the Venetian authorities called for tenders for the renovation of the Rialto Bridge.
Several top architects of the time prepared projects, including Jacopo Sansovino, Palladio, Vincenzo Scamozzi, Vignola and even Michelangelo.

In 1588 the contract was finally awarded to Antonio da Ponte, definitely not one of the architects in vogue at the time, being a mere proto at the Magistrato al sal. However, Da Ponte was also a hydraulic engineer and so maybe this skill was crucial to his winning the contract.
His bridge was built in just three years, at an extraordinarily high cost at the time, more than 250,000 ducats.

A few critics in the 1800s have doubted that the design was his, attributing it to the architect Scamozzi, leaving Da Ponte just the honour of having built the bridge.

1500  -   - rev. 0.1.9

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