Dyavolski Most (Devil's Bridge) over the Arda River in Bulgaria
© Petar Mladenov/Alamy Stock Phot
An unholy crossing?
Is this ancient bridge still standing thanks to a diabolical deal? Legend has it that, back in the early 1500s, a Bulgarian stonemason named Dimitar was given an engineering problem. He was hired to build a bridge that wouldn't collapse into the rushing Arda river, as had all its predecessors. Naturally, he turned to the supernatural and made an unholy pact with the devil.
As one version of the story goes, Lucifer impelled Dimitar to encase his wife's shadow in the stonework, giving the bridge supernatural strength to withstand the rapids. The catch? Trapping her shadow meant she was doomed to die once construction was completed. The story goes that Dimitar finished the bridge in 40 days, and his wife died shortly after.
Dyavolski Most (Devil's Bridge) in the Rhodope Mountains of southern Bulgaria stands tall to this day. Is it evidence of Dimitar's deadly pact or could it be, perhaps, that Dimitar was just a really good stonemason? Five centuries on, it's all water under the bridge.