The History Behind The Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine
Built to transport cars across the Intracoastal Waterway, this iconic bridge also manages to transport visitors to another time.
When you walk along the Bridge of Lions, you can’t help but stop several times along the way to take in the amazing views. The Castillo de San Marcos at sunrise. The St. Augustine skyline at sunset. The sparkle of millions of lights reflected in the Matanzas during Nights of Lights. You cannot take a bad photo of, or on, the Bridge of Lions.
Completed in 1927, the Bridge was constructed during the extravagant land boom times in Florida. It was designed as a work of art as much as a transport for cars, connecting downtown St. Augustine with Anastasia Island. A double-leaf bascule bridge, or drawbridge, it opens for boat traffic several times throughout the day.
The bridge gets its name from two white marble lion statues guarding the bridge on the west side. Commissioned and donated by former St. Augustine Mayor and medical doctor, Andrew Anderson, the lions are named Fiel and Firme, Faithful and Firm. In 2015, two new granite lions were added to the east side of the bridge, Pax and Peli, Peace and Happiness, commissioned and donated by St. Augustine residents, Wolfgang and Miki Schau. A walk across the bridge and back to see all four lions is about a mile, and worth every step.
The Bridge of Lions is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is on every visitors list of must-sees while in St. Augustine.