Ponte del Diavolo
The bridge in Borgo a Mozzano called "Devil's Bridge" or "Magdalene's Bridge" is clearly the most amazing in the province of Lucca and one of the most impressive bridges in Italy. The large round-headed arch flanked by three smaller arches was the source of inspiration for numerous artists and gave origin to legends relating to its construction.
Its slender design, still impressing the viewer, used to be certainly more amazing in the past. Indeed, the dam which, since the IInd World War has been raising the water level nearby the bridge, had not been built yet. According to the legend, the bridge was built by St. Julian. Being unable to accomplish the work for the enormous difficultly, the saint asked for the help of the Devil, promising to give him the soul of the first living thing crossing the bridge. Once the bridge had been accomplished, St. Julian threw there a piece of focaccia bread drawing there a dog and thus making fun of the devil.
Reliable historical information on the bridge construction is scarce. In his biography of Castruccio Castracani, Nicolao Tegrimi ascribed the bridge construction to Matilde di Canossa (1046-1125) and reported about a restoration carried out by Castruccio Castracani (1281-1328). According to Massimo Betti, the smaller masonry arches of the bridge were built under Castruccio and were ment to replace the previous wooden structures. That would explain the differences between the larger and the smaller arches and the difference in the road slope on the left side of the bridge, which was built over the already existing arch.
In 1526, the Magdalene's hermitage was built on the stream left bank, giving origin to one of the bridge's names. In the following centuries, a factory (documented since 1724) was built on the right bank. In 1899, the bridge structure facing Borgo a Mozzano was modified for the railway Lucca-Aulla to be built there: part of the bridge was demolished and a ramp was placed over the railway.

Place

Borgo a Mozzano LU

Conservation status

Among the first restoration works are the interventions to be carried out on the wall facing for the removal of the plants present, weeds and mosses, etc. Subsequently, the various interventions aimed at the restoration and actual conservation of the structure in the various parts will be scheduled. Among these, the removal of the mortars and incongruent portions and the replacement with suitable materials, the restoration of missing parts and the grouting. The cleaning of the stones and the removal of stains and crusts will be carried out following sampling and precise evaluation of the type of problem and after the removal of potential causes, such as the infiltration of water from the walkway, which risk between the other than compromising the static efficiency of the structure.

Information

Dating: XIV century
District/Location: Borgo a Mozzano
District: Mediavalle