June 14, 2018

DEVIL’S BRIDGE IN STARA FUŽINA

A significant technological achievement, built in the second half of the 18th century by the Baron Žiga Zois.

The bridge crossing the Mostnica river was a challenging construction undertaking. It was built in a single arch of hewn stone and placed over the deep gorge. There is a legend of how the bridge got its name that you can read in the following paragraphs.

By building the bridge, Žiga Zois improved the system of iron ore and charcoal supply routes from the surrounding mountains to the iron ore plant that used to be situated next to the Zois Mansion and Pretovka Stream which you can still see on your way to the Devil’s Bridge.

ACCESS

There are three options from the village of Stara Fužina to the Devil’s Bridge:

  • Follow the signs from the Church of St. Paul (with a car park), go past the Zois Mansion and to the Devil’s Bridge.
  • Take the road from the centre of the village (by the shrine next to the bridge) along the Mostnica river, turn left at the first crossroads, pass the Zois Mansion and go to the Devil’s Bridge or turn left about 50 m from the Zois Mansion and follow the trail next to Pretovka Stream.
  • In the centre of the village (by the chapel next to the bridge) turn left and go uphill, to the car park at Vorančkovca and take the narrow footpath to the Devil’s Bridge.

THE LEGEND OF THE DEVIL’S BRIDGE

The folktale about the bridge was written down by Marija Cvetek in her fascinating book entitled Bohinjske pravljojce in the dialect of Bohinj. Each tale also has a “translation” into Slovenian.

An old legend says that the people of Bohinj built a bridge before nightfall, but by the morning it was completely destroyed. They concluded that the Devil himself should build the bridge. In exchange for building it, the Devil demanded the first soul that crossed it. One peasant had a dog and when the bridge was finished he threw a bone to the other side, and his dog leapt after it. Thus the Devil received the soul of a dog. In his anger he thrashed his tail about bringing down the fence but the bridge still stands.  (Slovene version can be found in the book by Marija Cvetek: Bohinjske pravljice)

Location

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