Dyavolski Most (Devil's Bridge) over the Arda River in Bulgaria
© Petar Mladenov/Alam
Does this crossing carry a curse?
You've heard of a bridge over troubled waters, but what if the bridge is troubled too? Legend tells of a Bulgarian stonemason, Dimitar, who was tasked with solving a bridge problem here in the early 1500s. Dimitar was hired to construct a crossing that wouldn't collapse into the rushing Arda river, as had all previous spans in this strange spot.
How could Dimitar build a bridge to beat all the others? By making a deal with the devil, of course. As one version of the story goes, Lucifer impelled Dimitar to encase his wife's shadow in the stonework, which imbued the bridge with supernatural strength against the rapids. The diabolical catch? Trapping her shadow meant she was doomed to death once construction was completed. 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 as proof 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…