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General Information

Name in local language: Pont Valentré
Beginning of works: 17 June 1308
Completion: 1378
Status: in use

Project Type

Awards and Distinctions

1998 part of an ensemble  


Location: , , ,
  • Lot River
Above of: Valentré Lock
Coordinates: 44° 26' 42.36" N    1° 25' 54.01" E
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Technical Information


width 5 m
rise 8.70 m
total length 138 m
span lengths 6 x 16.50 m
number of spans 6
towers height 40 m


tower stone
arches stone


30 April 1306

Decision made to build the bridge

17 June 1308

Maître G. de Sabanac, first consul, lays the first stone.


Bridge enters use.

ca. 1380

All works finished after 1380.

1867 — 1879

Careful reparation and reconstruction.


The following legend is told about the bridge: Due to slow progress in construction, the master builder made a pact with the devil who was supposed to help him. As he wanted to save his soul, he made a bet with the devil just before completion to bring him water for the last batch of mortar in a large sieve. The devil of course was unable to provide the water in the sieve and lost the bet. In revenge, the devil broke a stone from a corner of the center tower every night that had to replaced the following day every time.

Architect Paul Gout, in charge of the restoration of the bridge was told about this legend which the locals used to explain the missing stone in the tower. The architect asked sculptor C. A. Calmon to make a stone sculpture of the devil pulling a stone out of the wall. That sculpture was then placed where the stone was missing. Since then the bridge is also called the "Devil's Bridge" or the tower is called "Satan's Tower".

Excerpt from Wikipedia

The Pont Valentré (French pronunciation: ​[pɔ̃ valɑ̃tʁe]) (Occitan:Pont de Balandras; English: Valentré Bridge) is a 14th-century six-span fortified stone arch bridge crossing the Lot River to the west of Cahors, in France. It has become a symbol of the city.

After the decision was made to build it on 30 April 1306, construction began on 17 June 1308. It was built between 1308 and 1378 with six Gothic arches and three square bridge towers. It opened for use in 1350. It was originally fortified at both ends, but the western tower has not survived.

A major restoration was performed from 1867 to 1879 by Paul Gout.

The legend of the Pont Valentré

The construction of the bridge lasted 70 years (1308 to 1378). In local folklore it is said that the foreman, exasperated by the slow pace of the work, signed a pact with the Devil. In the pact the Devil promised to use his skills expedite the work and, if he carries out all of the foreman's orders, then his (the foreman's) soul would be forfeit.

Having seen the bridge built on time, the foreman regrets his decision and issues a final order to the devil to go and collect water for the other workers using a sieve. In revenge for having been tricked, the Devil sends a demon each night to loosen the final stone in the central tower (known as the Devil's Tower) to ensure that the bridge is never finished and must be repaired each day

During the restoration of the bridge in 1879, the architect Paul Gout inserted a stone bearing the sculpted image of an imp into the central tower. As a result, according to the updated legend, every time the Devil checks to see that his vandalism has been carried out he is confused into thinking that the stone image is one of his demons tasked with dismantling the bridge.

Text imported from Wikipedia article "Pont Valentré" and modified on 22 July 2019 under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license.



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