The Devil's Bridge or Magdalene's Bridge
The Devil´s Bridge
The Magdalene's Bridge, said "The Devil". Mary Magdalene, disciple and witness of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This is without doubt the most impressive monument of the municipality of Borgo a Mozzano. It was built to connect the two shores of the river Serchio to the confluence with the Lima to make it possible to achieve the already well-known spa of Bagno a Corsena (today Bagni di Lucca).
There are no documents to identify with certainty the year of its construction, the writer Nicholas Lucchese Tegrini (fifteenth century) claimed that the bridge was built by the Countess Matilda of Canossa, and later the leader of Lucca Castruccio Castracani had it repaired at its own expense as the "Bridge Chifenti" (from Latin confluentes) was old and weakened.
In 1500 is called Ponte della Maddalena by an oratory dedicated to this saint who was at the foot of the bridge on the left bank (now the image of the Magdalen, attributed to the valuable work Robbia school, is located in the church of S. Jacopo in Borgo a Mozzano).
The Devil´s Bridge, railway
In the early years of the '900, to make room for the railway, opened a new arc on the right side of the bridge, which greatly altered the original architecture. Also the artificial barrier of Serchio executed in the 50s, a few hundred meters downstream of the bridge, as well as dangerously undermining its masts, has helped to remove the monument of his great enthusiasm toward the sky.
There are several legends about the origin of this singular building, perhaps born from the wonder that such a bold architectural could arouse in the simple minds of the inhabitants of the place, but also by the lack of certain sources on the building of the bridge.
The Devil´s Bridge
According to one of the most popular folk legends the bridge was built by St. Giuliano (probably S. Giuliano, hospitality, patron of travelers), who, failing to finish the year higher, churches that help the Devil agreed to finish the job in exchange of the soul of the first pass that had crossed.
When that wonderful builder had finished the work, S. Julian took a dog and throwing it attracted a flat above the deck. The Devil, who was waiting for his reward, quickly grab him, but became aware that it was not a Christian but an animal, hurled him to the ground with such force that he made a hole in the floor of the newly constructed bridge.
The Devil´s Bridge
Another version:
There was a time in a village on the banks of the Serchio a good and respected builder, with which the villagers had turned to make a bridge linking the two villages divided by the River.
The skillful builder set to work, but soon saw that the work was not progressing as quickly as he'd promised his fellow citizens and as he was a man of his word and always fulfilled his obligations, he became very unhappy and in despair.
He continued to work with laboring day and night so as to finish the bridge for the day specified in the contract, but work proceeded slowly and, unlike the days passed quickly.
One evening, while the foreman was sitting alone on the banks of the Serchio watching the work and thinking of the shame and dishonor that would suffer for not having completed it in time, he saw the Devil in the guise of a respectable man business. He went straight to the good man telling him that he was able to finish the bridge in one night.
The Devil´s Bridge
The man was incredulous at the words of the Devil, but continued to listen and eventually accepted the proposal.
Of course your opponent had his share: the foreman would have to undertake to give the soul the first person to cross the bridge when finished. The foreman agreed and the day after the village had its beautiful bridge, as can be seen today in Borgo a Mozzano.
The people were stunned and incredulous went to congratulate the skilled artisan, who advised not to cross the bridge before the sun went down. Meanwhile, the foreman got on his horse and went to Lucca, a bit worried to be honest, to consult with the bishop at that time was San Frediano. The saint told him not to worry, and let the devil take the first soul to cross that bridge, but it was his duty to ensure that first pass a pig. This was done, and the Devil, furious at having been defeated, and fell into the waters of the Serchio, and from that day was never seen there.