Devil’s Bridge: legend and history of the bridge on Serchio


Where, legend and historical origins of the Devil’s Bridge, a fine piece of architecture that combines the banks of the river Serchio.

History Devil’s Bridge

The bridge of the Maddalena, better known as Devil’s Bridge to an ancient legend, is located in the province of Lucca along the highway No. 12 Brenner for Abetone near Borgo a Mozzano. The age of the building dates back to the period between 1046 and 1115 when it was in power the Countess Matilda of Canossa able to exert a strong influence over that power in this area and throughout the Garfagnana.

What we see today, however, is the result of a reconstruction carried out by Castruccio Castracani, great lord and leader from the stately Lucca, in the period between 1305 and 1328. The bridge has the characteristic medieval classic but with some important differences : the arches are asymmetrical with the central one very wide.

Legend Devil’s Bridge

The legend of the folk tradition that makes it more known as “the Devil’s Bridge” tells of a mason who, started to build the bridge, was seized by the fear of not being able to finish the building work for the day set as the end of the work .

So it was that, to avoid paying penalties and other serious consequences very unusual at the time, made a pact with the devil, asking for help to complete the work. The Devil willingly consented to finish the bridge in a single night, but in return stated that he would go to the soul of the first human being who had ventured to cross the bridge.

The building contractor was right after a great remorse, so much so that he decided to talk to a monk of the area that gave him the brilliant idea to cross the bridge first to a pig. The Devil was so cheated by this variant which had not foreseen and was forced to pull back making void the agreement previously entered into.

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