The Devil’s Bridge

Hundreds of stone or masonry arch bridges in Europe have been titled ‘The Devil’s Bridge,’ and many have an associated creation-myth in which the Devil assists in the bridge’s construction, or barters to enable it.

France

There are 49 Devil’s Bridges in France, including:

Pont du Diable – Aniane (Gorges de l’Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon)
Pont du Diable – Villemagne-l’Argentière (Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon)
Pont du Diable – Beaugency
Pont du Diable – Céret
Pont du Diable – Foix
Pont du Diable – Olargues
Pont du Diable – Valentré
Pont du Diable – Crouzet Migette

Italy

Ponte del Diavolo – Ascoli Piceno, Marche
Ponte del Diavolo – Blera, Lazio
Ponte del Diavolo (officially Ponte Vecchio, also Ponte Gobbo) – Bobbio, Emilia Romagna
Ponte del Diavolo (or Ponte della Maddalena) – Borgo a Mozzano, Tuscany
Ponte del Diavolo – Cavallara (a frazione of Gualdo Cattaneo, Umbria)
Ponte del Diavolo – Cividale, Friuli
Ponte del Diavolo (Ponte Vecchio) – Dronero, Province of Cuneo, Piedmont
Ponte del Diavolo – Lanzo Torinese, Piedmont
Ponticello del Diavolo (‘the Devil’s little bridge’) – Torcello, Veneto

Spain

Puente del Diablo – Cueto, Spain
Pont del Diable – Martorell, Spain
Pont del Diable – Tarragona, Spain

United Kingdom

Devil’s Bridge – Devil’s Bridge (Pontarfynach), Ceredigion, Wales
Devil’s Bridge – Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria
Devil’s Bridge – Horace Farm, Pennington Parish, Cumbria
Devil’s Bridge – Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset (1841 bridge over railway)
Devils Bridge – in the grounds of Weston Park, Staffordshire (18th century listed bridge in form of grotto)
Devil’s Bridge – Pontwalby, Glynneath, Wales
Devil’s Bridge – Mossley Hill, Liverpool

Other countries

Ponte do Diabo – Vila Nova, Portugal
Ponte da Mizarela – Vieira do Minho, Portugal
Pont du Diable – Gorges de l’Areuse, Switzerland
Teufelsbrücke – St. Gotthard Pass, Switzerland
Teufelsbrücke – Commune of Egg, Switzerland
Steinerne Brücke – Regensburg, Germany
Puente del Común – Bogotá-Chia, Colombia
Puente Los Esclavos – Santa Rosa, Guatemala
Dyavolski most (Дяволски мост) – near Ardino, Bulgaria
Hudičev most – Bohinj, Slovenia
Hudičev most – Tolmin, Slovenia
Duivelsbrug – Breda, Netherlands
Moara Dracului – Câmpulung Moldovenesc, Romania
Kuradisild – Tartu, Estonia
Chertov Most – bypass route around the Severomuysky Tunnel, Buryatia, Russia

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An example of one of these myths is Dyavolski most (Дяволски мост), ‘Devil’s Bridge,’ near Ardino, Bulgaria. The legend states that during the Middle Ages, the Arda River over which it was built was very turbulent. Many had tried, but all had failed to tame the waters with their bridges. One particularly ambitious man made a pact with the Devil, who gave him the secret for creating a bridge that would last forever, under certain conditions. He was to create the face of the Devil in his work, and if he didn’t complete the project in forty days, his soul would be taken to Hell.

The man completed the project in 39 days, only to die two days later, taking the secret of his bridge-building mastery to his grave. The bridge still stands exactly as it was built 500 years ago, and when viewed from a certain angle, its reflection in the water creates an ominous visage.

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