The Devil’s Bridge, also known as Maddalena’s Bridge, is an incredible work of medieval engineering, surmounting the river Serchio near Borgo a Mozzano, in the province of Lucca.
Longer than 90 meters, with a structure made like a donkey back (it’s raised in the center and the sides sloping to make easy the water flow), but to make it special are the asymmetric arches. In particular the central arch, taller than 18 meters and convex shape, defies gravity and looks like engineering masterpiece.
The construction was ordered in the year 1000 a.c. by the enlightened Matilde di Canossa, to allow pilgrims and travelers to reach Lucca and continue the Via Francigena to Rome. Between 1200 a.c. and 1300 a.c., the leader Castruccio Castracani decided to restore it. In the early 1900s, to make the railroad’s passage possible, that linked Lucca and Aulla, was opened a new arc that significantly changed the physiognomy. Even today you can see the transit of trains under the bridge, allowing a truly impressive sight.
It’s known as Maddalena’s Bridge, because in 1500 a.c. was built, on the left side of the river, the Maddalena’s hermitage. But more interesting is the legend to the base of the other name, much more sinister, the Devil’s Bridge. The popular accounts report that the foreman in charge of building the work, aware of the difficulties related to the construction of the bridge, he realized it was impossible to complete the project. One evening, sitting on the bank of the Serchio, while he was in despair, the devil appeared proposing a deal to foreman. The Devil would complete the bridge in one night, but in return he would take the soul of the first that would crossed the bridge. The foreman accepted the deal. The next day the foreman, with great surprise, he saw that the bridge had been completed. The manufacturer, worried and full of remorse, seeks help from the pastor, who told him to respect the diabolical pact, however, doing crossing the bridge by a pig. The deception succeeded and the devil, infuriated by the mockery, he threw himself off the bridge in the Serchio waters and never appears again.
It certainly is an interesting story, which makes it even more unique this bridge. To understand the magnitude of this work, cross the bridge, however checking that there isn’t the devil.
Good light to everyone.