The Admiral's bridge was built in 1132 ca. on the orders of George of Antioch, Roger II's Grand Admiral and it is considered one of the greatest achievements of medieval engineering in the Mediterranean area.
This bridge, built to connect the city to the gardens beyond the Oreto River, is the oldest stone bridge built after the Fall of the Western Roman Empire. The Arab workers, Arab and Norman technicians along with the ancient experience of the Byzantines created this work of great engineering and expression of greatness of the Norman Court. "For the monumentality of the project and the perfect creation it certainly cannot be considered as a mere functional infrastructure, but, on the contrary, as a crucial element to the entrance towards the large and noble city through the old street." (Giovanni Fatta- source)
It is a bridge made of regular blocks of limestone with the characteristic “schiena d’asino” (“ donkey’s back”) design and with two symmetrical ramps supported by ogival arches and arched lintel seven spans with embedding. The arcades are articulated by six thick pylons provided also with lancet arch openings to reduce the occasional flood.
Today under the arches of this bridge no water flows: the Oreto river was diverted in the last century.
On May 27th 1860, in the nearby countryside, General Giuseppe Garibaldi, who was trying to enter the city of Palermo, faced strong resistance from the Bourbon troops. The attack was fierce, but the General with his "picciotti" ( young boys) managed to pass the bridge and victoriously enter the city.
Address: Corso dei Mille, piazza Scaffa. Reachable by tram "Linea 1" (Central Station / Roccella)