The legend of Devil's Bridge

The legend of Devil's Bridge

In order to find information about the legend of Devil's Bridge in Martorell we have used Google scholar. In the folowing link there is by Carme Oriol from the University Rovira i Virgili: Article here.

acording to Dr Oriol there are 27 versions legend just in Catalonia.

The topic of the Devil building a bridge in just one night in exchange for the soul of a victim is very common in the folk narative both in Europe and outside Europe

The Devil's Bridge is a work located between the municipalities of Martorell and Castellbisbal that connects two counties, the Vallès Occidental and the Baix Llobregat.

The main issue is that the Devil intends to build a bridge in only one night in exchange for the soul of something has a considerable presence in folk narrative and is widespread internationally. In the Catalan linguistic and cultural is a very popular tradition, there are hundreads of Devil's Bridges in all the Catalan area. In most of the versions, the story also serves to explain the origin of a bridge, a standing stone (the stone the Devil did not manage to put in place to finish the bridge), a spring, a water channel or similar. In all the legends the Devil have to take the soul of an animal because the person who want the bridge is smarter than the Devil.

On any given day, an old woman would cross the bridge every afternoon to look for water at the Eudó spring, on the other side of the Llobregat river. One night, due to a big storm, the water swept away the small bridge. That same evening, the devil appeared to him in person, and proposed a pact to him: he would rebuild the bridge in one night in exchange, however, for taking away the soul and body of the first living thing to pass by that bridge. The old woman agreed. The devil set to work. He did it at high speed, and when the sun rose, in the middle of the river was a large stone bridge.

The old woman was happy, but she also remembered the words of the devil: "the first living thing to cross the bridge." So before leaving home he put a cat inside his basket. When he reached the bridge he opened the basket and the poor cat, frightened, shot out. The angry devil had no choice but to take the animal's soul. From that day on, the old woman was able to return quietly to fetch water from the fountain using the bridge that the devil had built.

The genre, beetween legend and folktable

Here you can find images from Devil's Bridgeslocated around the world:

Image from a English traditional tale, the photo is from the Devil's Bridge Falls in the United Kingdom.
Image from an Aleman folktable about devil's bridge
Image from an Estambul folktable about devil's bridge
Image from an Italy folktable about devil's bridge
Image from an Italian (Luca) folktable about devil's bridge
Image from an Russian folktable about devil's bridge
Image from an Greek crossroad pointing atfolktable about devil's bridge
Image from an Turquish folktable about devil's bridge