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The Bridge of God, PonoareleCod 1485

The bridge of God is the only functional causeway national passage at a national level, being a vestige of the Bridge cave which resulted through the caving it of its ceiling. It is the biggest natural bridge of the country and the second as magnitude from Europe (30 m length, 13 m width, 22 m height and 9 m thickness), but the only one from the world opened to the causeway traffic (including of high tonnage).

As petrography composition, it presents a massive structure of stratified chalks in banks of 1 – 2 meters, the arch from downstream being situated in a much better state of conservation then the one from upstream.

The bridge can be admired in all its greatness from the Eyehole of the Cave, from where it is developed the opening towards Valea Pragului and its floored structure formed of blocks of chalks overlapped, subjected to the erosion and to the weather.

Looked from the opposite part, from Valea Turcului, the Bridge is imposed as a big arch, calcified, under which there is admired Dealul Peșterii and the serenity of the sky.

The locals kept numerous legends about the formation of the Bridge, which explains the name of the Bridge of God or the Bridge of the Giants:

From ancient times there was told that here used to leave the Devil, people praying to God to help them get rid of him, Then, god hit with his palm in the ceiling of the cave, where lived the Devil, which collapsed over the entrance. But the Devil got away, coming out on the other whole of the cave and clenched with his claws of the crest of Dealul Peșterii. The Devil would have climbed back up on a cliff, which has its name the Devil’s Cliff.

Another legend says the fact that the bridge would have been built by God because of the fact that Saint Nicodim to pass through Tismana after the people would have chased him from the commune, putting in his bag a chicken with the neck cut, bread and a knife, accusing him of theft. Around the year 1370, the monk was in the search of a waterfall which showed in his dream and above which he had to build a monastery. From Ponoarele he left for Tismana, where he built up the monastery (Tismana). Before leaving, he cursed the water from Ponoarele, to be without fish and to be swallowed by the land. And this is exactly what happened, because on its course there were built 8 mills, and in it doesn’t live any fish.

Another legend says the fact that the bridge would have been built by Hercules.


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