Devil's Bridge, Bulgaria

Devil's Bridge in Bulgaria's Kardzhali Region.
Devil's Bridge in Bulgaria's Kardzhali Region.

The Devil’s bridge is an ancient bridge in Bulgaria built during the Ottoman period. The bridge lies over the Arda River on a road connecting the Aegean Sea to the Thrace. It was built by Bulgarian Dimitar between 1515-18 after Sultan Selim I ordered its construction. Today, the bridge is not part of any road but serves as an old great times relic. It is the largest of its kind in Rhodopes with a length of 183.7ft and a width of 11.5ft.

The Legend Of The Devil’s Bridge

All the bridges that had been built in the particular place had been destroyed by the Arda river leading people to believe that the spot had been cursed by the devils. However, Dimitar decided to build the bridge in the spot despite numerous warning by the villagers. After several years of withstanding the waters of the river without being swept away, the villagers came up with a legend that Dimitar had been visited by the devil who offered him advice on how to build the bridge. However, the devil placed a condition which required the builder to inwall his wife’s shadow meaning she was to die as soon as the bridge was completed. Dimitar completed the bridge in 40 days. Soon after, his wife died. The bridge was declared a Bulgarian national monument in 1984.

Visiting The Bridge

The bridge is situated in a remote area of Bulgaria. It is therefore advisable to visit it in the afternoon on a sunny day. There is no public transport to the area and visitors need to use their personal vehicle or hire a taxi. Four centuries after it was built the bridge still stands strong and usable. If you tilt your head the bridge and its image in the water creates an image of the devil’s face including the eyes and horn.


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