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Ponte Real Ferdinando II di Borbone sul Garigliano


The Royal Ferdinando Bridge is considered a model of modernity for the Bourbon governments in terms of engineering, architecture and art (note the Egyptian columns and sphinxes, a symbol of the Egyptomania associated with the first excavations in Egypt). Built between 1828 and 1832 to a design by the engineer Luigi Giura, it is also a product of the industrial policy of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (the iron parts of the bridge, in particular the link chains, were made in the Filangieri ironworks in Candida, installed in 1824 by Carlo Filangieri di Satriano on his property in Razzona di Cardinale). In the first half of the 19th century, this modern public artwork ensured a direct crossing of the Garigliano river, replacing the ancient scafa (river barge connected by a rope between the two banks), in order to simplify the continuation of the journey on the Appian Way, and the rejoining of the site of the Roman city of Minturnae, where, at the end of the 18th century, the Bourbons had begun archaeological excavations that led to the discovery of statues and epigraphs for the royal collections.
However, as roadwork, the bridge is also a silent witness to the last act of the unification of Italy under the new Savoy Kingdom (Battle of the Garigliano 29 October - 2 November 1860), before the siege of Gaeta and its conclusion on 13 February 1861, as well as the hard battles along the Gustav Line at the end of World War II, during which the bridge was destroyed on 14 October 1943. Given the protection law of 1939 already in force, this event is proof of how the bridge was not seen as a cultural asset subject to protection, but rather as a strategic objective. Restored in 1998, and entrusted to the protection of the State, the Bourbon Bridge over the Garigliano Real Ferdinando can also be considered as an exemplification of the problem of cultural property at risk in the event of armed conflict.

Ponte Real Ferdinando II di Borbone sul Garigliano
Fiume Garigliano, 04026 Minturno LT, Italia

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