Ponte della Maddalena. Italy
This famous medieval bridge is called Ponte della Maddalena – “Bridge of Mary Magdalene” or Ponte del Diavolo – “Bridge of the Devil”. It was built in the days of Countess Matilda of Canossa, in the end of XI – beginning of XII centuries, over the river Serchio near the town of Borgo a Mozzano in the Italian province of Lucca. At the beginning of the XIV century, the bridge was reconstructed by the order of Castruccio Castracani.
The bridge has a classic medieval form of the donkey’s back. But it is asymmetric – it is longer and flatter on the one side. Central arch of the bridge is high and strong, and at the same time light and elegant – it is a unique architectural masterpiece in such picturesque landscape!
There is a beautiful legend, which provides an explanation of the second name of the bridge, that is also known as the Devil’s one. The legend says that the mason who built the bridge couldn’t finish the construction in time. In desperation, he asked for help from the devil. He agreed to finish the work in one night, but under the condition – he will take the soul of the first one who will pass across this bridge. So, they have concluded an agreement. By morning, the work was completed. But the mason felt pangs of conscience and repented. And then the priest advised him to let a pig cross the bridge first. Thus, the devil was deceived.