Les Ferreres Roman Aqueduct – Devil’s Bridge – Tarragona
Les Ferreres Aqueduct also known as El Pont Del Diable or The Devil’s Bridge is part of a 2000 year old aqueduct that was built to supply water from the nearby river Francoli during Roman times. It is 249 meters in length and 27 meters in height. An amazing attraction to visit, even if only to see the engineering from its time. It continued to supply water to the ancient city of Tarraco, now known as Tarragona, until as recently as the 18th century. The devil’s bridge is composed of two levels of arches. The lower level has 11 arches and the upper has 25 arches. It was built from large ashlars. These was stacked without mortar to form two tiers of arches. Full of history, there is myths and legends as to how the bridge was built. (add photos)
One story states that originally there was a large wooden bridge standing where the aqueduct does today. One day there was a great flood that washed the bridge away. This stranded an elderly couple who crossed it every day with their donkey. They needed to cross over to get to the markets in their village. As they wondered how they would deal with their misfortune a strange man appeared. This stranger told them that he would have a new bridge of stone built by sunrise, and it could not be washed away but in return he wanted the soul of the first to cross the newly built bridge. It was then they realised that this was the devil. After much consideration the elderly woman accepted his offer. The following morning they arrived to cross the river to find the new bridge and the devil awaiting payment. It was then the old woman tapped their donkeys hindquarters and he ran straight ahead to be the first to cross the new structure!
Another story that is on the information panel along the highway, made by Abertis Autopistas, is very similar. While the master builder was building the bridge a gust of wind blew it away. In his despair he said that only the devil could build a bridge that would last a thousand years. So the devil appeared to him and ensured that he would build a bridge overnight. In exchange he demanded the soul of the first to drink the water that went across the bridge. The first to do this was the donkey whose soul the devil kept.
The Roman aqueduct / Devil’s bridge is just over 15km from Salou. It is 4km from Tarragona. The Devil’s Bridge can be seen from a viewing point near the toll station of Tarragona south. Click Here For Viewing Point GPS Coordinates
Alternatively for a better experience and after seeing the Devil’s Bridge recently I would recommend getting closer. There is a small but adequate car park which is free, next to the wooded area that you walk through to view the bridge which also has no entry fee. Click Here For Carpark Coordinates.
Arrival At The Carpark
On our arrival the car park provided plenty spaces. It was very hot so we took a small back pack with water. It can get very warm here after midday. As with any quiet area do not leave any valuables in view in your car as the area is very quiet. The aqueduct is just a five minute walk from here.
There is large pillars at entrance to the park. There is a cafe on the left but unfortunately this was closed the day we were here. It had been recommended to us, after our next visit I will update more on this. We will definitely return to venture on the longer walks, when it is a bit cooler. Comfortable footwear is advisable as the ground is quiet rough with stones in parts. Pathway to the summit. You will arrive at the top of the bridge and it is quiet steep to get to the lower arches. Great photo opportunities here. It is beautiful to see this Roman structure and in the distance you can see the modern high rise buildings, ancient and modern in one view! There is a narrow water channel you can walk through on top of the bridge. The views are amazing! Its easily accessible by car or public transport. There is also a bus stop nearby. Check at the Plana bus station during your stay to see times. There is a walkway from the woods at the bridge that goes all the way back to Tarragona. This takes about an hour , a little longer in the summer season! There was quiet a few insects when we visited, I would recommended repellent. If you decide to take a scenic route it is easier in the dry weather as the footpath can get quiet muddy and flooded in parts.
I hope this post was both enjoyable and informative – If you have any questions or comments please contact me below. Thanks For Reading – Salou Travel Blog