Musée No:379.035Regular price £25.00
Artist: Cass Gilbert
The Pont Valentré is in Cahors in southern France. The first stone of this beautiful six arched bridge crossing the Lot River was laid on the 17th June 1308, which seems mindblowingly precise. It was finally open for business on 1350 and not finished completely for another 30 years . This symbol of the city has another name, it is known locally as Le Pont Du Diable (the Devil's Bridge). Legend goes that the foreman of the bridge building was infuriuated by the slow pace of construction and he signed a pact with the Devil himself to speed up the construction. The Devil said that if he carried out all the foreman's orders and the bridge was finished on time then the foreman's soul would be his. The bridge was built on time but the foreman (predictably) regretted his decision so gave a final order to the Devil - that he go and collect water for all the builders, using only a sieve. In revenge for being tricked the Devil sent a demon to the central tower each night to loosen the final stone, so it was never finished and had to be repaired. In the 1879 restoration of the bridge they added a little stone devil to the top of the central 'Devil's' Tower. It has been a world heritage site since 1998.