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Old Bridge

A cache by Hrundi Silvassa Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 09/18/2012
Difficulty:
2 out of 5
Terrain:
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: other (other)

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Geocache Description:

In a very busy area, full of muggles.
In una zona molto affollata e piena di babbani.

The Old Bridge crosses the river Arno at its narrowest point, in the same location of an ancient Roman bridge (Roman piers were made of stone with a wooden superstructure). The bridge first appears in a document of 996. After being destroyed by a flood in 1117, it was reconstructed in stone but almost completely swept away again in 1333, as reported by Giovanni Villani in his Nuova Cronica. It was rebuilt in 1345, and, according to Giorgio Vasari, its design should be attributed to Taddeo Gaddi; whereas modern historians prefer Neri di Fioravanti as its possible architect. The bridge consists of three segmental arches: the main arch has a span of 30 meters; the two side arches span 27 meters each. It has always hosted shops and merchants who displayed their goods on tables before their premises, but the back shops warehouses that can be seen from upriver, were added later. It is said that the economic concept of bankruptcy originated here: when a merchant could not pay his debts, the table on which he sold his wares (“banco”) was physically broken (“rotto”) by soldiers, and this practice was called “bancorotto”. Not having a table anymore, the merchant was not able to go on with his business. During World War II, the Ponte Vecchio was not destroyed by Germans during their retreat of August 4, 1944, unlike all other bridges in Florence. This was allegedly because of an express order by Hitler, but the circumstance is not historically confirmed. Access to Ponte Vecchio was, however, obstructed by the destruction of the buildings at both ends, which have since been rebuilt in a combination of original and modern design. In order to connect the Palazzo Vecchio (City hall) with Palazzo Pitti, in 1565 Cosimo I de' Medici decided to build a corridor above it and commissioned the project to Giorgio Vasari. To enforce the prestige of the bridge, in 1593 the Medici Grand Dukes prohibited butchers – whose corporative association had monopolised the shops on the bridge since 1442 – from selling there. Their place was immediately taken by several gold merchants, who are still there nowadays.
 
In epoca romana esisteva, nel luogo in cui si trova l'attuale Ponte Vecchio, un ponte di legno, che fu sostituito da un ponte di pietra a 5 arcate intorno al 1170 e fu danneggiato nel 1222, nel 1322 e, da ultimo, spazzato via nel 1333 da un'alluvione. L'attuale costruzione risale al 1345 ed è opera di Taddeo Gaddi o Neri di Fioravante. Nel 1442 il ponte fu occupato dalle botteghe dei macellai, per eliminare dalle strade della città la sporcizia degli scarti delle carni. Fu in quel periodo che furono costruiti i primi retrobottega aggettanti sul fiume, puntellati con pali di legno. Su commissione di Cosimo I dei Medici, Giorgio Vasari costruì il “ corridoio vasariano”, con lo scopo di mettere in comunicazione Palazzo Vecchio con la dimora privata della famiglia, Palazzo Pitti. Il corridoio sopraelevato è lungo circa 1 km e fu costruito in soli 5 mesi e passa sopra il ponte sul lato a monte. Nel 1593, per ordine di Ferdinando I, le botteghe dei macellai furono sostituite da orafi e gioiellieri, per evitare la presenza di odori sgradevoli sotto le finestre del corridoio. Nel 1944, durante la ritirata dei nazisti dalla città, il ponte fu l'unico a non essere fatto saltare, anche se furono pesantemente danneggiati i punti di accesso, ricostruiti nei primi anni ‘50.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Urneg / Phber

Decryption Key

A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M
-------------------------
N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z

(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



 

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