The Devil’s Bridge – Torcello

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The Devil’s Bridge is one of the two bridges of Torcello, islnad in the Venetian lagoon.

The archaeological study confirms that its construction dates back to the fifteenth century and crosses the main channel, the waterway that connects the small historical center of Torcello to the lagoon.

The origin of the name of the bridge is still a mystery. Some say Devils were the nickname of a local family, others traced it to a mysterious legend.

LEGEND: During the Austrian occupation, a Venetian girl fell in love with an Austrian officer. The family of ancient Venetian origins could not accept that union and relegated the daughter to the House, preventing her from seeing his lover, but despite these impediments the maiden was able to meet with him clandestinely. One night, however, the girl waited in vain for the arrival of her lover, and later learned that he had been stabbed during a night patrol. No one knew who had killed him, but the girl suspected immediately that behind that horrible murder was hiding the hatred of her parents. The desperate girl cried for a long time the loss of her great love, she stopped eating and locked herself in her room.

A family friend, fearing for his life, told her that perhaps there was a way to revise his lost love. He then met a witch, an old Judea named Ester. The latter invoked the devil who, in exchange for the young man’s life, asked the souls of seven Christian children who had died prematurely; He then gave an appointment to the two women in Torcello, in the night between 24 and 25 December.

When he shot midnight at the foot of the bridge, the witch invoked the devil who appeared on the opposite side. The Devil pulled a golden key from under his tongue and handed it to the witch who threw it into the water. On the other side of the bridge appeared the young Austrian officer. The two lovers embraced each other and then vanished into the fog of the night, and nothing was known of them.

The devil waited in vain for the Witch to respect the Covenant. She, in fact, perished in a fire. Since then, the night of December 24 of each year, the devil, in the likeness of a black cat, appears on the bridge in the vain expectation of the Witch and the seven souls of the children.

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