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.