The Story Behind the Picturesque Devil’s Bridge in Kromlau Park, Germany
Devil’s bridges are numerous throughout Europe. In France alone, there are about 49 Devil’s Bridges and these can also be found also in Italy, Germany, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and throughout the world. Several of these bridges have been built years ago, between 1000 and 1600 AD, and each has a corresponding Devil-related folktale or legend.
However, there is one exceptional bridge in the world, beautiful and mystical, called the Rakotzbrucke or the Devil’s Bridge in Germany. It is located in Kromlau Park, the largest park in Saxony, about 120km northwest of Dresden, and near the German-Polish border. Rakotzbrucke is the most panoramic of all Devil’s bridges in the world.
The park was commissioned by the knight of Kromlau and a nature lover in the 19th century, Friedrich Hermann Rotschke. It is 200 acres wide and composed of beautiful landscape with scenic Gothic architecture; and of course the mysterious Devil’s Bridge.
Unlike other Devil’s bridges, this one in the Kromlau Park dates back to the 1860s, and not typically built between 1000 and 1600 AD.
Several legends are attributed to this architectural masterpiece, among those is that the architect who drafted the bridge has made a pact with the Devil himself to be able to build a unique bridge. In exchange, the devil demanded to take the soul of the very first person who would cross the bridge.
Aiming to outwit the Devil, the architect let a dog cross the new-built bridge. But according to another legend, the architect true to his word, walked the bridge himself first off.
Another myth related to the Rakotzbrucke claims that one will uncover his mystic abilities within if you sail in a boat under the Devil's bridge at a full moon. Some people convey one will see the face of the Devil if you look sideways and others believe that the bridge is a portal to another world.
The Rakotzbrucke is not open for public walks to be preserved for the future generations.