Pont du Coq

Rooster Bridge

Historic site and monument, Engineering structure, Bridge, listed, Town of Art & History, 15th C in La Brigue
  • Technical prowess or devil's bridge? This bent bridge is very curious…

  • At the beginning of the 18th century, the previous medieval bridge was destroyed by a flood of the Levenza River. In 1710, the Cometto masons, father and son, originally from Lugano, rebuilt the current bridge, which consists of a large, semicircular arch over the Levenza River with a significant diameter of 14.20 meters to withstand floods. On the right bank, a ramp on arches connects the current road (RD 43) and the bridge, crossing the floodable meadows at an angle of 110°. On the other...
    At the beginning of the 18th century, the previous medieval bridge was destroyed by a flood of the Levenza River. In 1710, the Cometto masons, father and son, originally from Lugano, rebuilt the current bridge, which consists of a large, semicircular arch over the Levenza River with a significant diameter of 14.20 meters to withstand floods. On the right bank, a ramp on arches connects the current road (RD 43) and the bridge, crossing the floodable meadows at an angle of 110°. On the other hand, the left bank is simply connected by an extension of the roadway. The roadway, about 2.60 meters wide, has an extra width in the junction angle between the bridge and the north ramp to facilitate the rotation of harnessed carts. The structure is built in jointed rubble masonry and the roadway is covered with a pebble pavement, typical of the region. Additionally, masonry parapets were added afterwards to frame the roadway.

    One of the most popular legends about the Pont du Coq in La Brigue tells that once upon a time, the village was regularly attacked by bandits coming from the mountains. The villagers then decided to build a bridge to facilitate their escape in case of an attack. However, they did not have enough stones to complete the construction, and the bridge was about to be abandoned. One morning, a rooster appeared at the construction site and started scratching the ground with its feet. The villagers took it as a sign and dug up the place where the rooster had scratched, and they found a large amount of stones that were used to complete the bridge's construction. Since that day, the rooster became the symbol of the bridge, in recognition for its help.

    Another legend tells that a dragon used to live under the bridge and terrorized the inhabitants of La Brigue. The villagers asked for the help of a brave knight to defeat the dragon. The knight succeeded in killing it by stabbing it in the belly with his sword. Since that day, the Pont du Coq is considered a place where strength and courage are rewarded.

    Finally, according to a third legend, the Pont du Coq was haunted by the spirit of a young girl who had drowned in the river. The villagers held a ceremony to appease her spirit, during which a rooster was sacrificed. Since that day, the bridge is considered a place of purification and reconciliation.

    Bridge visible from the road, possibility to cross it.
  • Environment
    • Mountain view
    • Town outskirts
    • Village 2 km away
    • Overview on river
    • Cycle track/route within 500 m
  • Spoken languages
    • French
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