The beautiful bridge that forms a perfect circle. The master craftsman’s deal with the Devil


The beautiful bridge that “forms” a perfect circle.

There are many “Devil’s Bridges” around the world. The most impressive of all is in Germany. It is a place well hidden in the dense vegetation of provincial Lower Silesia in Saxony. The official name of the bridge is Rakotz, which means cancer. The “devilish” nickname was given to her because of her unusual appearance.

Since medieval times, there has been a tendency in Europe to ascribe to the work of the devil anything that seems impressive enough to have been created by man. In particular, large bridges, which often became places of tragic accidents, had an additional reason to be identified with this particular nickname.
Dakota was not marked by any tragedy. The architecture of the bridge was enough to create an eerie feeling for those who saw it. Friedrich Herrmann Rötschke, who designed it, had a vision to build a large park, the like of which did not exist in the area.

He planted rhododendrons and various rare species of plants, dug the ground and made small artificial lakes. He also transported large quantities of Blackstone from quarries in Saxon Switzerland and Bohemia for all the constructions that would decorate the park. So, he made small caves, abstract statues and of course, the famous bridge

The “devil’s bridge” of Saxony is built of Blackstone. YouTube

Its construction began in 1860 and was completed a decade later. Built entirely of Blackstone, its height reaches 35 meters. It forms a perfect semicircle, which when reflected in the water gives the illusion of a completely harmonious circle.

Rötschke’s contemporaries likened it to a ring. In the “interior” of the ring, an indeterminate construction of Blackstone columns can be seen. Like the rest of Europe’s “devil’s bridges”, Rakotz is accompanied by legends.

The most common one says that the architect made a deal with the devil. In exchange for his help, he promised to sacrifice the first person to cross it. When she was ready, she made sure that the first person to cross her was a dog. Another legend claims that the ring-bridge has magical properties, which are “unlocked” to anyone who sails through it on a full moon night.

Although the above theories are nothing more than urban legends, today the public is prohibited from passing over Rakotz. This is happening to protect the structure, which is already 160 years old. However, the rest of the park is open and visitable. In fact, it is the largest and most impressive in Saxony.

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