The so-called Devil’s Bridge in the Schöllenen Schlucht Ravine leads over the Reuss River. The Schöllenen Schlucht Ravine has always been a hardly surmountable obstacle on the rout over the Gotthardpass.
The first bridge over the Reuss River was built in 1230. It was built of wood and due to the weather conditions often had to be renewed. In the 16th century it was finally replaced by a bridge built of stone. During the Second Coalition War, the Devil’s Bridge was badly damaged by fighting actions and was no longer passable. However, due to the economic situation the second Devil’s Bridge could be built only in 1820.
The total construction time of this bridge was ten years, however, the substance was such good that this bridge even exists today. When traffic increased during the 20th century, the bridge was no longer up to the requirements or better said the quantity of traffic and therefore a second bridge was built over the Schöllenen Schlucht Ravine near the old Devil’s Bridge. The new bridge which was extended to two lanes dealt and deals substantially better with the increased volume of traffic than the old Devil’s Bridge.
It was the devil who has built this bridge – the legend of the Devil’s Bridge
According to a legend the bridge received its name because the first Devil’s Bridge was said to be built by the devil itself. That one who stepped on the bridge at first had to sell his soul to the devil. For this reason, the inhabitants sent a billy goat over the bridge. However, the devil did not fell for this trick and got very angry. He wanted to smash the bridge by means of a large stone, but a devout woman pre-empted and painted a cross on the bridge. As a result, the devil was said to be run away but to have left the stone. This so-called Devil’s Stone can still be visited today. Near the Devil’s Bridge as well there is a memorial which was created in 1899 to think about the battle of 1799.
You can reach the Devil’s Bridge via the country road which beautifully runs along the Reuss River. Just before Andermatt you finally get to the Schöllenen Schlucht Ravine and cross the Devil’s Bridge. Here you can often observe climbers as well. Just behind the bridge the restaurant with the same name invites for a rest and you can enjoy a wonderful view to the bridge and the memorial.