The Augustan Bridge with its four large arches, made it possible for Via Flaminia to cross the deep gorge of the Nera River to present day Narni Scalo.
The Augustan Bridge with its four large arches, made it possible for Via Flaminia to cross the deep gorge of the Nera River to present day Narni Scalo. Cited for its grandeur and inventive building solutions by many classical sources and represented by artists and travellers of the Grand Tour, it is a true masterpiece of Roman architecture. The bridge represents one of the great works commissioned by Augustus in the framework of a wider reoganisation project of Via Flaminia undertaken in 27 B.C.
Near Narni, the consular road divided into two branches, the western one headed to Carsulae and Bevagna, and the eastern one to Terni and Spoleto, which met near Forum Flaminii (today’s S. Giovanni Profiamma).
Of the imposing original structure, the southern arch is preserved intact consisting of the left abutment, the first pier and the round connecting arch. On the other river bank are the remains of a second pier which is lying on the ground, the third pier still in place and the northern abutment crossed by the railway in 1889.
The original length was probably about 180 m for a maximum height of 30 m, with arches of different spans, right up until 32 m. The 8 meter wide road was very steep due to the difference in level of the two sides.
The structure had a cement core covered in square blocks and wedges of local limestone in an ashlar design.Over time the Augustan Bridge has been subjected to several collapses and serious damage, linked to the flood phenomena of the Nera River.
In 1053, a great flood caused a substantial part of the structure to collapse and from that moment it was referred to in many sources as the Ponte Rotto (Broken Bridge).