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What is the story behind Devil's bridge? - Answers

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What is the story behind Devil’s bridge?

Map depicting location of Devil's Bridge

In a connotation to the name, the Devil’s bridge indeed refers to bridges located in Europe, which have their own Devil related myth or folk story. People might associate these with the Roman era, but it was the medieval age when most of these bridges were built.

Located in Wales, in the village of Pontarfynach, is an unusual bridge above the river Mynach, overlooking the beautiful mountains. The legend has it that it was built by a devil. As per the folktale, an old woman’s cow had wandered off to the other side of the river and she wanted to bring it back. Observing the upset lady, the devil appeared and suggested that he would build a bridge to eradicate the problem, but in return demanded the soul of the first thing that crossed the bridge. The lady accepted the offer, and the next morning when she arrived with her dog, the bridge was already built. The devil reappeared and demanded that he would now attain the soul of whoever crosses the bridge first, presuming that it would be the lady herself. However, the woman cleverly threw a bread crust across the river, which her dog ran to retrieve, hence crossing the bridge first. The devil was outwitted and out of embarrassment he escaped, never to be seen again in Wales. There are numerous versions of the story, where the adversary is sometimes a simple herder or a saint. At times, it is claimed that the devil was so outraged by the trick played on him, that he jumped into the river which eventually brought peace into the community.

The bridge located in Ceredigion community of Wales has two more bridges built over it since the original formation was considered to be unstable. The upgrades were done in 1753 and 1814. Since the 18th century, the Devil’s bridge has remained a tourist attraction. The nearby locations including a gorgeous waterfall where river River Mynach and River Rheidol meet; and Jacob’s Ladder – the lowest bridge at the waterfall have also remained popular tourist destinations.

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