UNESCO Heritage List
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Valentré Bridge is the most outstanding fortified bridge of France.
It is listed as a historic monument since 1840 and is now a part of UNESCO's world heritage. The 6 arches, 3 square towers bridge was built between 1308 and 1378. In 1870 it was restored by architect Paul Gout. It is Gout who added a little sculpted devil hanging on the upper part of the central tower of the bridge, a reference to the legend that recounts the pact between the bridge medieval builder and the demon.
The story goes that in order to erect the bridge the builder accepts to give his soul to the devil if the prince of darkness was going to help and complete all the tasks the builder was going to ask of him. The construction work progresses satisfactory until the last brick, from the last tower's top, needs to be laid and some water from the below river has to be brought all the way to the top of the tower to make cement: the clever builder hands then the devil a… strainer and asks him to bring water!
Needless to say the tasks cannot be achieved and the builder is free of his promise to give his soul!
Near the Valentré bridge is situated an antic sacred place - now called Chartreux fountain - where the first inhabitants of Cahors, the Gauls, were coming to pay respect to the water goddess Divona .
The little devil on the bridge.........