Named as one of the top ten bridges in the United States in 2010 by Roads and Bridges magazine, the Bridge of Lions is a spectacular sight to see! The Bridge of Lions is a double leaf, drawback Bascule Bridge that connects Anastasia Island to downtown St. Augustine and is visible in nearly every skyline view of the city. Spanning 1545 feet across the Matanzas River, it has been standing strong and transporting people and cars over for nearly 90 years. Right at the turn of the century, a $77 million program was put into place to resort the bridge in nearly five years to its former glory due to its magnificence and stature as one of St. Augustine’s most recognizable structures. It is in fact listed on the National Register of Historic Places along with other sights in St. Augustine, like Castillo de San Marcos.
With two massive Medici lion statues on either side of the bridge and giant pillars shooting out of the river below, there is a certain regal, old world grace about the Bridge of Lions. As you walk across or drive over it, the railings, the lights, the tops of the four structures along the bridge all beg for you to stop and dive in to the detail and charm that the masonry and craft is filled with.
As you leave your Bed & Breakfast in St. Augustine FL, heading to whatever attraction you might be visiting that day, you come upon this magnificent bridge, and stop, making an unexpected stop for the day. You and your group get out of the car and walk up to the massive lions, standing regally as they look out over the city. Upon exploring a little further, you end up on the bridge, observing the technique and beauty in all of the detail on the railings and the structure. You’re completely in awe as you look over to your friends, who have the same expression on their faces. You walk around the bridge and the lions a little more, taking pictures with your group and enjoying the feeling of the cool air coming up off of the river below. As you go about the rest of your day, you remember the Medici lions standing tall and frozen mid-stride over you and the bridge, expanding long and sturdy out from one bank to the other. And when you drive back across it heading back to the Pearl of the Sea Bed & Breakfast, you gaze upon it again, still amazed by the incredible feat artistry and engineering right in front of you. Even laying in your comfortable bed at the B&B, you’ll reminisce on the day and your thoughts will instantly drift to the Bridge of Lions, still leaving you in awe hours, days, and months later.