Devil's Bridge in Tarragona

Devil's Bridge in Tarragona
Devil's Bridge in Tarragona

The Roman architecture, or rather, the Roman engineering is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant construction periods of all time. Only in this way can it be considered a culture that built infrastructures spread throughout its empire that still survive two millennia later. Examples abound, such as the Gard Bridge in France, or the Segovia Aqueduct in Spain.


Devil's Bridge in Tarragona

Precisely today we are going to talk about another Roman aqueduct and also built in what was its colony of Hispania, that is, Spain. It is known as Pont del Diable or Les Ferreres Aqueduct in Tarragona.

In reality, only a section of this aqueduct that supplied water to the city has arrived, bringing it from a river that runs on the outskirts. Tarragona is at sea level, on the shores of the Mediterranean. And the water is taken from the Francolí river at a point located almost 100 meters high. From there, an aqueduct of about 25 kilometers was designed, made up of both aerial sections and pipes.

Of all this, the most spectacular is the Pont del Diable, which reaches a height of 27 meters and extends for almost 220 meters, with 11 arches at the bottom and 25 at the top, over which the canal runs of water, thanks to the 40 centimeters of difference in level between itshighest and lowest point.

A colossal work made from large blocks of stone or ashlars, which are placed dry, that is, without any mortar that glues them together. It seems almost a miracle that it has stood since the 1st century, when it was built in the period of Emperor Augustus. And furthermore, both this section and the rest of the aqueduct remained in use until the 17th century. A jewel, and as such it has been considered by UNESCO, which has listed it as World Heritage Site.

And as for its current names, it must be said that it is known as the Aqueduct of Les Ferreres, because it is located in a piece of land with that place name. And regarding Puente del Diablo, it is quite common in many other bridges in Spain and Europe, since they are usually such spectacular works that over time they are only explained by the intervention of extraordinary events. And in this case the legend says that the master builder who was building it, tired of several failures, Satan appeared and offered him help. Of course, in exchange he said that he would keep the first soul that drank the water that passed through this aqueduct. And it turned out that the one who drank first was an ass.

Obviously this is all legend, and the fact is that the Romans built it with their undisputed mastery of engineering.

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