Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Pont de Diable

Pont de Diable, Villemagne l'Argentière

The Pont de Diable or Devil's Bridge at Villemagne l.Argentière is one of several such named in the area. This bridge, over the river Mare,  was built in the 13th century, probably by the monks of the Abbey at Villemagne. The Devil's Bridge appelation comes from legend. There are several different forms of the legend (see Devil's Bridge Legends) but one local one goes like this.

The local lord ordered a bridge to be built over the river. Every time the builders neared completion of the bridge the Devil threw the bridge down forcing the work to be started again. After several tries the nobleman sought a bargain with the Devil. The Devil agreed to allow the bridge to be completed on condition that he should have the soul of the first of the nobleman's servants to cross. The bridge was duly finished and, before allowing anyone to cross, the nobleman sent one of his hunting dogs across the bridge. The Devil was enraged but took the dog's soul as he had bargained.

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