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The Bridge of Sighs 2020-02-06T12:54:13+00:00

The Bridge of Sighs


Located at St Johns College, the Bridge of Sighs crosses the river between the college’s Third Court and New Court. It was built in 1831 by Architect Henry Hutchinson and was named after the one in Venice, even though they don’t have architecturally much in common.  The bridge was Queen Victoria’s favourite spot in the historical city of Cambridge and by now it has become one of Cambridge’s main tourist attractions.

The myth of the Bridge

Although the Bridge of Sighs in Cambridge looks nothing like the Venetian bridge, there is, however, a similar story behind the name. So, the bridge in Venice leads from the palace to the court houses. People crossing it were going to be judged and probably executed. They would sigh one last time as they crossed… However, here in Cambridge the bridge leads from the accommodation to where students get their exam results. Hopefully Cambridge no longer executes students for bad results but they still sometimes sigh as they cross. We can’t answer for the parents they might execute students for bad results… but hopefully not.

Student pranks

In the 1930’s some students had managed to get a car into the river at the Bridge of Sighs by punting it all the way up from Jesus Green. They then suspended the car beneath the bridge using metal cables. A prank so popular they did it again in the 1970s with a Robin Reliant.

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