Originally an old wooden bridge served the purpose of connecting Davis Shores and historic St. Augustine. The iconic Bridge of Lions was built in 1927 and was made possible through a citizen’s referendum when the city leaders proved hesitant to spend such a large sum of money – not at all like today! The bridge was then constructed of concrete and steel and adorned with the regal lions that stand guard at each end of the bridge and the towers with the drawbridge section.
The Bridge of Lions gets it’s name from the stately marble Medici lions that greet travelers that cross the bridge. The recent bridge repair caused the lions to have to temporarily step down as guardians of the bridge during the work from February 2004 to March 2011, but the lions have returned to their post and are more beautiful than ever. Getting stuck in the drawbridge traffic is a perfect time to look out at the city and appreciate the beauty and the history of this seaside town.
Firm and Faithful: The Lions
The lions were the last gift of works of art from Dr. Andrew Anderson (1839-1924) who was the builder of Markland House. The lions are symbolic of Spanish royalty – a fitting tribute to the Spanish colonists who founded this great little city.
“In St. Augustine, the Bridge of Lions is as much a symbol of our city as is the City Gate, the Castillo de San Marcos, the towers of Flagler College and the beacon from the St. Augustine Lighthouse.” – Mayor Boles