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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The Chilling Origins Of The European Devil Bridges

Most people link the concept of Devil bridges to ancient structures found throughout Europe. These impressive feats of engineering come across as mysterious and otherwise otherworldly. As a caveat, these may have ties to the supernatural – as far as the legends are concerned. These bridges also served as a bridge between the physical world and the paranormal—Sachsenhäuser Bridge, Bad Man's Bridge, and the  Dyavolski most notorious of these bridges.

European Devil Bridges
Image: Rebloggy

Our first bridge is called the Sachsenhäuser Bridge, found in Frankfurt, Germany. Within the bridge stood two arches with wood on top. An emblem of a golden rooster is visible. The legend tells of a man who was nearing his deadline for accomplishing the structure.

Alas, at the last remaining days, he called for the Devil's aid. The Devil agreed, and with that comes a condition. The contract was explicit with sacrificing a soul that first steps on the bridge. With little dithering, the man agreed, so by nightfall, it is over.

By daybreak, the man let a rooster cross the bridge and thus delivered its soul to the Devil. The Devil was furious, expecting a human soul instead. The man outwitted the Devil, so the latter split the rooster in half and have thrown it through the bridge's walls, causing holes. At present, these holes characterize the bridge, and it was said to be unrepairable. 

European Devil Bridges, Bad Man's Bridge
Image: Weekend Notes

In Wales, United Kingdom, there is another bridge called the Bad Man's Bridge. An older woman named Megan of Llandunach and her cow connected to this ancient tale. At her time, there was extensive flooding in that area. The flood took her cow to the other side of the ravine. The cow was her only possession.

Her yearning caught the attention of a cowled man with a rosary on his side and back-turned knees. The man offered his service to the woman in exchange for the living thing that would cross the bridge. However, no one can fool Old Megan. She plotted to outwit the man whom she thought was the Devil.

The Devil asked Megan to stay at her cottage while he constructs a bridge. The Devil summoned Megan as the bridge is under construction. After some time, during the construction of the Bridge, Megan was present. At the sight of the bridge, she questioned its integrity despite the Devil's insistence. She mockingly dared the Devil to hold the weight of a loaf to test the bridge's strength, which made the devil jeer but willingly accorded. What the Devil did not know was that it was part of her plot. She threw the loaf to get her dog's attention and thus becomes her living sacrifice to the Devil. The event culminated in the Devil vanishing to space, leaving the scent of brimstone.

European Devil Bridges, Dyavolski Most
Image: Trip Advisor

The final Devil's bridge is in Bulgaria over the Arda river called the Dyavolski Most. Researchers estimated to exist around the sixteenth century, wherein the Ottoman empire still reigned at the behest of Sultan Selim I. Contrary to the previous tales, this was dubbed a devil's bridge because of a sighting a silhouette reminiscent of the Devil instead of being a creation at itself. The legend tells of a girl who was running away from the Ottoman governors. As soon as she crosses the bridge, the sight of the Devil in the Adra River scared off the governors, which finally set the girl free. This tale continues to haunt those who still pass on the bridge. 

Stories about these demonic bridges continue to fascinate people who became aware of these chilling tales of deception and menace. These legends are a testament to man's ingenuity and their capability to be true to their word. Whether or not the Devil is involved in creating these impressive structures affirms the timelessness of persistence and passion that humanity is known.

Written by Joshua Rodriguez, IFY Books

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