19th Century ‘Devil’s Bridge’ Uses Its Reflection to Form a Perfect Circle

Bridge Photography

Photo credit: Not a Nomad blog

At first glance, it looks as though nature has created a perfect circle that frames the gorgeous landscape of Germany's Kromlauer Park. But look a little longer and you'll realize that this stunning sight is the result of a clever optical illusion. An arched bridge called Rakotzbrücke, or devil’s bridge, is responsible for fooling your eye.

Rakotzbrücke was commissioned by a knight of  Kromlau and completed in 1860. The rustic and natural-looking circle bridge was constructed using different types of stone with pointed rock spires that punctuate either end. It was specifically designed with the optical illusion in mind.

So, why is the Rakotzbrücke called devil's bridge? There’s nothing inherently evil about it, but this nickname speaks to its awe-inspiring form. The folklore term was given to any bridge—but primarily ancient ones—that showcased a great achievement in engineering—so magnificent, in fact, that it must’ve been created by the devil rather than a mere mortal.

With its fantastic panoramic views, Rakotzbrücke is a popular place for bridge photography. You too can visit this locale, but beware: walking on this bridge is prohibited in order to preserve it for generations to come.

Located in Kromlauer Park in Germany is the Rakotzbrücke, or devil's bridge.

Circle Bridge

Photo credit: Dirk Förster

It was constructed in 1860 with a grand optical illusion in mind. When the bridge is reflected into the water, it, it makes a perfect circle.

Circle Bridge

Photo credit: Henning Herrmann

Circle Bridge

Photo credit: A.Landgraf

The gorgeous panorama views have become a popular spot for bridge photography.

Kromlau Germany

Photo credit: Michael Ahler

Kromlau Germany

Photo credit: Ilhan Eroglu

h/t: [Design You Trust, Atlas Obscura]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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