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The Devils Bridge - Dyavolski most Bulgaria
The Devils Bridge - Dyavolski most
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The Devils Bridge - Dyavolski most

The Dyavolski most is an arch bridge over the Arda River

The Devils Bridge and the Thracian sanctuary Orlovi skali. Starting from Kardzhali, we headed west. We passed several small villages with quaint names such as Rezbartsi, Boyno, Chubrika. After reaching Ardino, we passed through the town itself and headed north and northwest towards the village of Dyadovtsi. At some point you will notice that the road begins to follow the bed of the river Arda and before long following the brown signs for Devils Bridge you will come to a widening where you can safely leave your vehicle, as we actually did.

It is quite possible to reach it by car on a dirt road a few meters from the bridge itself, but I think it is unnecessary, considering that the landmark itself is located in a protected area where the rare Rhodope silivryak flower is found. Driving on the asphalt road, be careful all the time, firstly, because it is very narrow, not to say one-way asphalt is in good condition and secondly, you can often meet some locals. Whole herds of cows often graze on the side of the road, which not only graze on the side of the road, but also walk along the traffic lane undisturbed by anyone, enjoying themselves most calmly. So you may have to wait for them to do their job. The distance from Kardzhali to the Devils Bridge is about 43 km and about 1 hour of driving. It is about 80 km and two hours away from Smolyan (if you are coming from there). Wherever you come from, be patient, the journey and vigilance on the road are worth it.

The Devils Bridge - from Roman times through the Middle Ages to the present day In fact, there was another bridge at this place in Roman times, part of the Via Egnatia road, connecting the White Sea with Thrace through the Makasa Pass. In the 16th century, by order of Sultan Selim I, the bridge was rebuilt in order to renew trade connections between the Upper Thracian lowland with White Sea Thrace and the Aegean Sea. It was built 500 years ago and until now no repairs have been required on it. Traveling through the Rhodopes, you will very often see bridges with similar island-top architecture. However, the Devils Bridge near Ardino is unsurpassed in its size and beauty. In 1984, it received the status of a cultural monument.

The bridge is located 420 meters above sea level in a gorge, surrounded on both sides by steep slopes reaching up to 800 meters above sea level. It is 56 meters long, its width reaches 3.5 m, with three vaults, and on the vaults of its side ribs openings with semicircular vaults have been made for water drainage. In the middle, the height of the central vault is nearly 12 m.

Due to its proximity to the famous Devils Bridge, the village of Dyadovtsi is probably the most visited abandoned village in Bulgaria. On the way to the bridge, tourists stop by it, who walk by the destroyed houses and take pictures. Well, to be honest, we didnt make it to this village as it was raining and we had to get to Eagle Cliffs.

The Devils Bridge as a tourist attraction. A very popular place. On the day we visited, there were not many people. Is it because the tourist season had not yet actively started, or because of the already unstable summer weather, accompanied by daily rainfall. I do not know.

The area around the bridge is very picturesque. It was built in a gorge between the two banks of Arda. We also saw a real crab basking on one of the rocks under the bridge itself. As you can guess we went down under the bridge itself, in search of interesting viewpoints for photos.

On the side of the bridge itself, there are several gazebos, as well as benches. If a person has prepared himself with some other sandwich, he can sit down and eat while admiring the bridge.

Legends of the Devils Bridge
Even before I read more seriously, preparing todays article, going to the Devils Bridge, I knew that the reflection of the bridge in the water, viewed from a special angle, creates an image that, with enough imagination, can be compared to the image of the Devil. Well, I failed to recognize it, even though we were in the perfect golden hour for it. The time between 11 and 12 noon.

The Devils Footprint
According to one of the legends, a footprint of the Devils step left during one of his walks on the bridge can be seen on one of the stones. This legend has it that the place itself brings bad luck to anyone who dares to approach the bridge. Well, I hope it really is just a legend.

For a long time no one could build a bridge over the river. Her waters destroyed any such attempt.

A young craftsman took on the difficult task of building a bridge over the river. He made a contract with the Devil, and he, in turn, made a condition that he would reveal to him the secret of how to build the bridge. The young master had to embed the image of the Devil, but in such a way that it was both there and not visible to everyone. The deadline for this was 40 days. If he failed to fulfill the arrangement in time, the Wicked One would take the souls of the master and his bride.

To everyones amazement, the master was able to cope with the conditions set by the Devil. Not long after, however, he remembered and his secret remained unsolved. The fact is, however, that the Devils Bridge stands firm 500 years later, and the image of the Devil can still be seen.

The picture above is not mine, it was taken from the internet, but I put it here so you can see that the image of the Devil is indeed visible. So, looking at the picture, it is from autumn time, which might also be relevant.

The Maiden and the Devil
Another interesting legend I came across is that of the Devil appearing in the water. She tells that many years ago Turks persecuted a Bulgarian girl because one of them was in love with her and wanted to make her part of his harem. She climbed the bridge with the intention of jumping into the river, but when the Turks approached the bridge, they stopped in fear because they saw the image of the Devil in the waters of the Arda River.

As you can see, the Devil is at the heart of every one of the legends about the famous bridge. You yourself know that there is often a bit of truth in every legend, superstition. One thing is certainly true. The Devils Bridge, together with its surrounding landscape creates a magic for everyone who visits it.