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DEVIL'S BRIDGE

Devil's Bridge
Bulgaria is full of wonderful and mysterious places. Places that bring together legends, folklore and nature. One such place is the famous Dyavolski Bridge of the Arda River. It is 10 km from the town of Ardino. It is built in the picturesque gorge that forms the river and because of its curious mysteries and its unique atmosphere gathers tourists from all over the country.
The dimensions of the bridge are impressive and respectful. It is situated at over 400 m above sea level, surrounded by steep slopes and precipices. It is 56 m long and 3.5 m wide. It is built of three arches, the height of the central one is 12 m. Because of this it was declared a cultural monument in 1984.
Already in its place there was a Roman bridge, part of the road that connects the Aegean and the Upper Thracian Plain. In this way the facility existed in the Middle Ages when in 1515-1518 the builder Dimitar from the village of Nedelino built it. It has been built so firmly that for five centuries it has endured the lush waters of the Arda River and has not been fortified or rebuilt since its creation until now. Another interesting fact is that this is the first bridge on which experts find the "Solomon seal" (hexagon) engraved on one of the arch stones.
Many folk legends hang around this bridge. Some are for its creation, others for its name. No one can know the truth, but surely in every tradition there is a dose of it.
One of the most widespread stories is that after the bridge was built, the devil decided to walk on it and left his step in the stones. Another says that the thunder of the loud waters of Arda sounded like the sinister laughter of Satan heard from Hell.
Some associate the building with the famous folk motif for shadow building. The skillful master decided to embody the shadow of a local pretty girl who carried him food to make the bridge durable and healthy. As we know from the literature, the girl dies soon after, but her shadow still holds the bridge to this day.
The bridge gains its reputation especially with the reflection of the Devil that people see in the river. This is happening during the Ottoman yoke when a local Turkish governor asked for a woman to be one of the best girls. She, however, did not want to change the faith and started running through the mountain, chased by a Turkish cavalry. When she reached the bridge, she was already exhausted and decided to jump from it, but not to surrender. But she was saved because when the pursuers caught up with her they saw the devil's reflection in the water and escaped frightened.
The explanation for this reflection has also been preserved over the centuries: For years, people have tried to build a bridge over the river, but the stormy waters have always handled the last stones and demolished it. The masters no longer wanted to go there because they considered the place to be cursed. There was, however, a young man who agreed to take up the task. He even intended to sacrifice his beloved by embodying his shadow, but one day the Devil appeared to him and offered him a bargain - Satan would make the bridge forever if the young man had built it for 40 days and the image of the Devil would be built, he sees that he can not touch himself. Both have kept their promise - the bridge is still standing, and in the sunny weather between 11 and 12 hours, the reflection of the Devil is visible in the water.
In which legend to believe, visit Devil's Bridge. You will surely feel the magic he radiates. Beautiful scenery, history and folklore will make you fall in love with this devilish fascinating place that has preserved so much history and culture within itself. And in the tourist area you can relax and enjoy the view.


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