The Story of the Bridge

We went to a gigantic flea market in Regensburg this weekend. It was so big, there was no parking to be had anywhere near the fairgrounds. We ended up parking a couple of kilometers away and walking from one side of the downtown to the other. The upside, though, is that I got to take a few snapshots of Regensburg en route.

The Danube River and the "Stone Bridge", built in the 1200's
 
The Danube River, the other end of the "Stone Bridge," and the cathedral (also from the 1200's)
 
A view down the "Stone Bridge" towards the cathedral

The story goes that the architect of the Stone Bridge and the architect of the cathedral bet on whose project would be completed first. Not one to lose, the architect of the Stone Bridge made a pact with the Devil, that if his bridge was completed before the cathedral, the first three souls to cross the bridge would belong to the Devil. (I think we made a similar pact about releasing Grid Engine 6.0...)

With the Devil's supernatural help, the bridge was completed first. The bridge's architect, however, being a clever lad, decided to cheat the devil. Instead of the heads of state the devil had hoped would be the first to cross the bridge, the architect sent two chickens and a dog. Outraged, the devil grabbed the critters and dove over the side of the bridge. His anger was so intense that the water still swirls around the spot where he dove in, even to this day!

Not at all happy about being cheated, the devil tried to destroy the bridge. He squeezed under it, with his feet on the river bed and his back against the bridge, and pushed up with all his might. The bridge bowed upwards, but it held. He tried again and little further down. The bridge bowed upwards again but still held. He tried several more times, each time creating an arch, but the bridge still held. Eventually, he gave up and fled back to the underworld, but the arches of the bridge remain to this day as a lasting reminder of the Devil's anger.

At least that's what the tour guide said.

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