In Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, the Devil makes the bridge

In the heart of Languedoc, gateway to the Hérault valley, the Maison du Grand Site welcomes you to the Grand Site de France, Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert - Gorges de l'Hérault, between Aniane and the Pont du Diable.
Each Devil's Bridge has its legend.
In the 11th century, in spite of the combined efforts of the abbeys of Aniane and Gellone to allow the crossing of the Hérault Gorges, every morning the monks and the population could only witness the destruction of the works carried out the day before.
They then decided to appeal to Guilhem, their patron saint, to put an end to this systematic night sabotage.
The latter, recognizing the work of the Devil, disguised in a goat costume, then decides to make a pact with the latter.
"Satan, rather than confronting us here, let us try to settle our dispute intelligently. »
"For once, I agree with you, Guilhem! Then listen to me carefully. I propose to build the strongest bridge there is in three days. In exchange, you agree to give me the soul of one of your servant dogs. The soul of the first one to cross the bridge will be mine and I will take him with me to the depths of the underworld. »
Once the work was finished, everyone crowded around the bridge, but no one dared to cross it.
Then Guilhem pulled a bone out from under his jacket, threw it across the bridge and the dog that accompanied him chased after him, crossing the bridge belly down.
"Satan, you see that I respect my commitments, Guilhem said to him. Three days ago you asked me for the soul of one of my servant dogs. Well, here is the most faithful of all. »
Mad with anger at being fooled in this way, the Devil tried to destroy the bridge but, in accordance with his promise, the incomparable solidity of the structure enabled him to resist his assaults.
In spite of this, he threw himself into the waters of the Hérault and dug the black abyss in his fall.

Sometimes, in times of flood, the Devil's anger seems to awaken and his howls rise from the bottom of the abyss.
Thus, for many, many years, pilgrims and passers-by who crossed the bridge would carry stones and throw them into the river in the hope of leaving the Devil at the bottom.

Sometimes, in times of flood, the Devil's anger seems to awaken and his howls rise from the bottom of the abyss.

Thus, for many, many years, pilgrims and passers-by who crossed the bridge would carry stones and throw them into the river in the hope of leaving the Devil at the bottom.

Considered to be one of the oldest medieval bridges in France, it has been classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as part of the Way of Saint James of Compostela in France since 1998.

 

La Maison du Grand Site Pont du Diable
34150 Aniane
Tel: 04 67 56 41 97 from April to November
Tel: 04 67 57 58 83 all year round


oti@saintguilhem-valleeherault.fr

www.saintguilhem-valleeherault.fr


Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

(free version)

 


To go further....

De Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert à Navacelles

Click on the image

Ces itinéraires de découverte, de Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert à
Navacelles, vous guident à travers les richesses naturelles de
ce territoire et de son histoire, depuis la préhistoire jusqu'à nos
jours. Gignac, Aniane, Puéchabon, le pont du Diable, la grotte
de Clamouse, le Causse de la Selle, Pégairolles-de-Buèges,
Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert - La Grâce de l'Abbaye de Gellone

Click on the image

Au cœur du Languedoc, dans les gorges de l'Hérault, l'abbaye de Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert est l'un des édifices romans les plus remarquables du Midi, avec ses proportions tout en harmonie et son dépouillement propre à l'art monastique.
Cet ouvrage magnifique retrace la longue histoire d'un édifice construit par les bénédictins (XIe-XIVe siècles) dans ce " désert " des Causses, agrandi par les mauristes (à partir du XVIIe siècle), sauvé de la ruine au XIXe siècle,et animé depuis 1978 par les sœurs du carmel Saint-Joseph.
Étape du chemin de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle, l'abbaye de Gellone vit toujours au rythme des pèlerins, mais aussi des touristes, amateurs d'art et mélomanes attirés par ce haut-lieu patrimonial et naturel, classé depuis 1998 au Patrimoine mondial de l'Unesco.
Le chemin de Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert : Lozère-Aveyron-Gard-Hérault

Click on the image

Cette itinérance de 15 jours permettra d'emprunter cette antique voie de transhumance et voie commerciale du sel depuis l'Antiquité. Ce sentier est jalonné d'un patrimoine architectural varié (abbayes, chateaux, fortifications, ..) et de sites naturels prestigieux : Aubrac, causse de Sauveterre, gorges du Tarn, causse Méjean, Parc national des Cévennes et bien d'autres.
Le chemin de Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert : Chemin de pèlerinage

Click on the image

Des hautes terres d'Aubrac aux garrigues languedociennes, le chemin de Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert est depuis longtemps un itinéraire attractif. Chemin "roumieu" jalonné de croix depuis le Moyen Age, antique voie de transhumance, voie commerciale dès l'Antiquité, il mène à la rencontre d'un patrimoine architectural varié et sites naturels prestigieux : Aubrac, causse de Sauveterre, gorges du Tarn, causses Méjean, Parc national des Cévennes, massif de l'Aigoual, cirque de Navacelles.

Also to be seen in the department

le Canal du Midi

The Canal du Midi by Pierre Paul Riquet

placeHérault 
label Remarkable buildings Natural curiosities People from here Amazing... isn't it? Made in Grand Sud  

L’eau Vernière, élue meilleure eau minérale gazeuse du monde

placeLes Aires - Hérault 
label Gastronomy [to drink]  

RRRrrr ..... Le film d'Alain Chabat

placeSaint-Jean-de-la-Blaquière - Hérault 
label Films: film locations  

Le Canyon du Diable dans le Colorado languedocien

placeSaint-Jean de la Blaquière – Hérault 
label Natural curiosities Amazing... isn't it?  

Discover the regions of the Great South