There are a few places in the world that catch your attention immediately right when you look at them. One such place is the Devil’s Bridge in Germany. It is in Kromlauer Park, Kromlau and is called as Rakotzbrücke (or Teufelsbrücke).
Devil’s Bridge is a common term applied to the ancient bridges, primarily spread across Europe. These bridges are built out of stones or masonry arch with spectacular architecture. Each bridge has a unique mythical story behind it that varies from region to region.
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Devil’s Bridge is situated in the district of Görlitz, Saxony in Eastern Germany. The Kromlauer park is mainly known as Azalea and Rhododendron Park due to a large number of colorful rhododendron trees and plants in the 200-acre area. Kromlau is the largest rhododendron park in Germany.
It is best to get here via car. You can also get public transport till Kromlau and from there the park is just a 1 km. walk. Or if you decide to drive from Berlin, you can reach here in 2-3 hours covering 165 km. (103 miles). There is a €2.50 fee for parking, andRakotzbrücke is just 5 min. walk from the parking lot.
History and the Myth of the “Devil”
Among all the Devil’s Bridges, because of their amazing shapes and architectural mastery, there is a certain common legend that Satan – the devil himself –helps to build these magnificent bridges, in exchange for a soul.
Hence the locals sometimes refer to Rakotzbrückeas as “Satan’s ring”, due to its appearance of the perfect circle after reflecting in the water. But worry not, this Devil’s Bridge in Germany was built by humans only with their bare hands!
In 1860, Friedrich Hermann Rötschke– the knight of the local town – decided to build a 35-meter stone and basalt bridge over the lake. He wanted to attract the locals and guests visiting the Kromlau town to the park. And today, Rakotzbrücke attracts a lot of tourists visiting Germany.
Architecture and “Reflection” of Rakotzbrücke
The gravity-defying bridge looks stunning and historic. The entire Devil’s bridge in Germany is made of stone and there are rock spires at both ends, to resemble narrow basalt columns.
The curvature of the bridge is built in the shape of a semi-circle. So, when the water beneath the bridge is still and clear, it casts a beautiful reflection of a perfect stone circle, hence sometimes referred to as ‘Satan’s Ring’.
Note: It is not allowed to walk on the bridge to preserve its remarkable structure.
Best Time to Visit Kromlau Park
To truly enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the park, the spring and autumn seasons are the best. With blooming new flowers, leaves, and freshness in the spring season and colorfully decorated pathways from the “fall” of the leaves, you can visit the park in either season.
The Beauty of Kromlau Park
Other than Rakotzbrücke, the surrounding area in the park itself is mesmerizing. With a lot of blooming flowers and green and colorful rhododendron trees, you can enjoy a nice stroll in the park and alongside the lake. It is one of the best places in Germany for nature lovers and photographers.
Other Interesting Places Near Rakotzbrücke Andin Saxony, Germany
Visiting Kromlau Park only for Rakotzbrücke and a stroll through nature is not the only thing that you can enjoy in Saxony, Germany. There are also other interesting places around the Devil’s Bridge in Saxony, Germany.
After enjoying your trip to the Devil’s Bridge and Kromlau Park, below are a few notable places you can visit in Saxony:
Waldeisenbahn muskau – Muskau Forest Railway
Around 3 km. from Rakotzbrücke, Waldeisenbahn Muskau is a 600 mm. narrow gauge railway that connects Kromlau, Weißwasser and Bad Muskau in Saxony, Germany. This is a heritage railway and is open only on specific days and timings, so better to check the timetable beforehand.
Initially, it was constructed by the German diplomat, Harry von Arnim, as a horse railway but since 1896, it has become a wide network of trains. The train goes through the scenic German landscapes and forests.
Schloss Muskau (Muskau Palace) in Muskau Park
Schloss Muskau is in Muskau Parkthat sits between Germany and Poland. It is a beautiful palace whose construction was started in 1815 on the order of Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau. But Pückler ran out of money and ultimately, the estate was sold to the von Arnim family.
The castle was rebuilt after it was destroyed during Second World War and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004. The park is huge and takes around 2-3 hours for a complete round trip. You can walk on foot or opt for bicycles.
Saxon Switzerland National Park
This national park is located near Saxony’s capital city of Dresden. It is a wonderful and calm nature-bound region with a huge rocky canyon landscape. This is a nice place for hiking and rock climbing as well as a great opportunity for landscape photography.
This is a huge glass building in the town of Döbernand the world’s biggest glass shop in a pyramid structure. Here you will find a huge variety of beautiful glass items and gift articles to buy in different shapes and sizes including vases, bowls, glasses, plates, etc. You can consider this as a must-visit place in Saxony, Germany.
Ore Mountains (Ore Mountain Range, Erzgebirge in German) are located on the German-Czech border in southeast Germany, dividing Bohemia and Saxony. This place is famous for its amazing treks, museums, and a sense of serenity in the region.
You can also enjoy a series of winter sports like snowshoe walks, ski tours, winter hikes, etc. in the winter season.Ore Mountains is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2019.
Leipzig is the most populous city in Saxony, Germany. As of 2021, it has 605,407 citizens and is the 8th most populous city in Germany. Filled with the local culture of Germany, this city is often called “the new Berlin”.
Here you will find street performers, local food shops, restaurants, bars, St. Thomas Church, and St. Nicholas Church. Leipzig is the hometown of the famous German composer – Johann Sebastian Bach – of the Baroque period.
The city holds the Gothic festival (Wave-Gotik-Treffen) each year during the spring season. You can also visit the highest tower in Leipzig – Panorama Tower –for a spectacular view of the entire city.
The beautiful town of Görlitz is situated in eastern Germany, on the Polish border. It is known for its mixed architecture of buildings from different eras like Baroque, Renaissance, late Gothic.
It was also a popular filming location for some Hollywood movies like Inglourious Basterds, The Reader, The Book Thief, and The Grand Budapest Hotel. This is one of those preserved towns of Germany, as it was not destroyed during World War II.
Thus, Rakotzbrücke is a splendid arch bridge in Germany. You can consider it an irony that this Devil’s Bridge is situated in the center of the beautiful and godlyKromlau Park.
Once you have enjoyed basking in the nature-embraced park, you can head from there to the other locations in Saxony to get acquainted with the German culture, food, and lifestyle. You may also end up learning some common German words during this tour!