DEVIL’S BRIDGE

   In Europe there are a lot of stone arch bridges which date back to medieval times.
We know about the existence of 49 Devil’s Bridges only in France, about 10 in Italy and there are some in the United Kingdom,
Spain, Slovenia, Romania, Estonia and in almost every country on the Old Continent.
All of these bridges have a folktale depicting why, when and how exactly they got this name.
One of these beautiful bridges also known as The Bridge of Mary Magdalene is located in Tuscany, Italy.
Its name in Italian is Ponte della Maddalena or Ponte del Diavolo. It was built in 11th century when is the beginning of
the High Middle Ages. The bridge crosses the river Serchio and stands on a very busy road which connects France with Rome.
  In 17th century the local council decided to block the bridge with sacks of flour in order to preserve its structure.
However, people continued using it because of its important river crossing location.
   The Devil’s Bridge was once badly damaged in a flood in 19th century and an additional arch was added to it in the 20th century.
  The arch was built to make some room for a new road but it noticeably changes the original design of the bridge.
The legend responsible for its name – Devil’s Bridge – tells the story of the chief constructor who being worried about the
deadline of the completion of the bridge, decided to accept a deal with the devil. The devil promised to build the bridge in one
night in exchange for the soul of the first person to cross it. The builder then felt guilty and decided to find a dog and make it cross the bridge. When he did it, the devil got angry, grabbed the dog and dove into the water.
The legend says that every year towards the last days of October one can see a white Maremma sheepdog roaming around the bridge.
   Local people believe that the dog is the devil himself looking for the soul of the chief constructor who misled him.

GALLERY

GLOSSARY

flood – an overflow of a large amount of water

deadline – the latest time or date by which something should be completed

to roam – move about or travel aimlessly or unsystematically

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