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Devil’s Bridge (Ponte del Diavolo) Legend and Myth Cividale del Friuli UD Italy

In the Middle Ages, the locals of this town gathered to study building a solid stone bridge between the two banks. They were anxious because there is no architect was able to make the bridge after numerous attempts. So, they call upon the Devil’s help, and the Devil appears, avenging with red eyes, tail, and horns agrees to construct the bridge in just one night. But of course, it’s not that easy, and the Devil made one condition in exchange for the soul of the first local who passes through the bridge. The locals accepted it.

The night was terrible with thunder, lightning, swear of swords, and chilling laughter. The city thrilled with the great noise. The Devil’s mother had thrown a giant stone into the middle of the river.
Finally, at dawn was silence; locals looked out the windows, curious to see what happened. To their surprise, the bridge stood beautiful and firm beyond all expectations. On the other side of the banks, the avenging Devil is waiting for the reward.
All the church bells began to ring. Meanwhile, bishops, priests, and exorcists come out of the cathedral, followed in procession by the people singing sacred hymns. They stop at the entrance of the bridge and release the bate, which is a cat. When the Devil discovers out, he becomes furious and wants to destroy the bridge for the trick that they made. The locals unite to fight against the Devil. The looser Satan slipped away and perhaps threw himself back to hell without getting a local soul.

The history of the Devil’s Bridge is a long and adventurous one. It took 226 years to build. In 1332 Ognibene da Cremona was commissioned to draw up the project, but there were no concrete achievements for hundred years. In 1442, the work was started by the architect Jacopo Dugaro da Bissone and ceased after five years. Erardo da Villaco continued the job until 1452. The bridge passed by Bartolomeo Delle Cisterne and was paved in 1558. After so many ventures, the work was finally finished! Hundred years went by in 1917, the bridge smashed down during the First World War, and here comes the Austrians rebuilt it soon after. In 1939 renovation was replaced with concrete ones that we can still see today.

Directions: Ponte del Diavolo, Cividale, Ud