Bridge of Lions

bayfront LionsDid you know… In 1895, a wooden toll bridge first connected St Augustine with Anastasia Island, and passengers were carried across it by a mule-drawn trolley. Modified in 1904 to carry the cars of an electric trolley line, it proved to be unattractive and insufficient for the rapidly increasing automobile traffic.

During the 1920’s, a new bridge stretching 1,538 feet was planned to provide a more efficient means to transit to the Davis Shores development. The modern bridge flanked by four towers opened in 1927 with a drawbridge to allow tall boats to pass through. Named the Bridge of Lions for the pair of Carrara marble Medici Lions statues that are copies of those found in the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence, Italy. The statues were a gift of Dr. Andrew Anderson (1839–1924), the builder of the Markland House, who spent the last decade of his life putting works of art in public places in the Ancient City.

The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 19, 1982.