The Story Behind the Picturesque Devil’s Bridge in Kromlau Park, Germany
Throughout Europe, there are numerous Devil’s bridges – in France, alone there are 49 Devil’s Bridges. Devil’s Bridges can be found also in Italy, Germany, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and throughout the world. Many of them have been built between 1000 and 1600 AD, and each bridge has a corresponding Devil-related myth or folktale.
However, there is no other Devil’s Bridge in the world as beautiful and mystical as the Rakotzbrucke or the Devil’s Bridge in Germany. Located in the largest park in Saxony, Kromlau Park, 120km northwest of Dresden, near the German-Polish border, the Rakotzbrucke is the most picturesque of all Devil’s bridges in the world.
The park was commissioned in the 19th century by Friedrich Hermann Rotschke, the knight of Kromlau and a nature lover. It contains around 200 acres of beautiful landscape with Gothic architecture within and of course the Devil’s Bridge.
Unlike other Devil’s bridges built between 1000 and 1600 AD, the Devil’s Bridge in the Kromlau Park dates back to the 1860s.
There are many legends attached to this architectural masterpiece. One of those legends says that the architect who has built the bridge made a pact with the Devil in order to build a unique bridge. In return, the devil wanted to take the soul of the person who would be the first to cross the bridge.
However, the architect outwitted the Devil letting a dog cross the new-built bridge. According to another legend, the architect honored the deal by walking the bridge himself.
Another mystical story related to the Rakotzbrucke says that one will discover mystic abilities inside himself if sailing in a boat under the bridge at a full moon. Some people believe one can see the face of the Devil if looking sideways and others claim that the bridge is a portal to another world.
The Rakotzbrucke is not open for casual tourist walks in order to be preserved for the future generations.