Today in my Spanish and the European Union class we learned about the legend of how the Aqueduct also know as “Puente de Diablo” or the Devil’s Bridge was built. The Aqueduct was constructed by the Romans and runs 9 miles to a spring outside the city. The Aqueduct was constructed using 20,400 blocks that are held together without any building materials but the rocks themselves. Though we all know that the Aqueduct was built by the Romans there is a local legend that is way more fun.
The legend says that a servant girl worked in the house of a very rich man that overlooked La Plaza de Acueducto. Every day the servant girl had the task of fetching water from the river for her master. This was a very difficult task because the river was so far and the hill to her master’s house was very steep. With every passing day the girl grew more and more tired but knew that she would have to fetch water once again the next day. One day while walking back from the river the servant girl collapsed out of exhaustion. She was so desperate that as she sat crying on the street she called out to the Devil and promised him her soul if she never had to work so hard again. Satan, always greedy for a new soul, appeared swiftly to accept the girls offer that if he were able to build something that would bring water from the river to her master’s house and free her from her agony before the sun comes up and the rooster crows then he could have her soul forever. Satan accepted the deal and the girl signed the contract with her blood. Satan vanished quickly and the servant girl immediately regretted her decision but she found comfort in the belief that there was no way that Satan would be able to finish in one night. That night while the girl lay awake in her bed she heard a tremendous storm raging outside but unlike everyone in town the girl knew that it was not a storm but Satan carrying out his end of the deal. The girl got up to look out the window and to her horror she saw Satan and thousands of demons constructing the Aqueduct. The girl knew that she was doomed so she began to pray but no one answered. The demons continued to work throughout the night until there was one final stone left. The demons shouted and danced with triumph as Satan, knowing he had won, sauntered up to the Aqueduct ready the place the last stone and sealing the girl’s fate. At the last moment as Satan raised his stone to complete the Aqueduct a rooster crowed and a ray of light shown down through the night. Furious that he had not been able to place the last stone and lost the wager Satan disappeared into the night leaving the Aqueduct unfinished and the girl’s soul free. The girl quickly ran to the priest and confessed. The gap where the final stone should have been placed holds a figure of a saint. The legend also says that the holes visible on the stones are the marks of the Devil’s fingers.