Thursday, 15 August 2013

The Crazy Bridge called Rackotzbrücke

Der Wahnsinn ist nur eine schmale Brücke
die Ufer sind Vernunft und Trieb ... Jetzt hab ich dich! - Rammstein, 'Du riechst so gut'

Today we travelled by train with our bikes to Schleife, just over the Saxony/Brandenburg border, with the aim of cycling to Bad Muskau and then up the Oder-Neiße-Radweg long distance cycle path along the Polish border to Forst. It was a 51km cycle and great fun.

One of the surprises though (the other being how lovely Bad Muskau is) was a Rhododendronpark we visited on a whim in Kromlau. Here we came across the most amazing bridge built between 1863 and 1882. It surely has no other purpose than to befuddle your senses and strike you with awe, as it has no possible practical use.

The bridge is called Rackotzbrücke. Or without the 'c' Rakotzbrücke - despite how the sign next to it spells the name. Google calls the lake it spans Rakotzsee so perhaps it should be Rakotzbrücke. In popular parlance it is also (almost inevitably) called die Teufelsbrücke or Devil's bridge. 

It looks like something out of Lord Of The Rings, and you expect at any moment to see an army of dwarves pass in single file across it on its way to the Mountains of Moria.

Around it, built into it, and projecting out of the lake beside it are amazing rock sculptures that look like basalt columns straight off The Giants Causeway. I believe the basalt actually came from quarries in the Sächsischen Schweiz (Saxon Switzerland) region, but they look so bizarre that I was looking (unsuccessfully) for air bubbles in the stone that might indicate they were cast from concrete.

How they managed to cement those enormous boulders together to make the arch and have it still standing 150 years later is a marvel.

Anyway, take a look at my photos of it, and if you ever find yourself cycling through Kromlau (I know, I know, rather unlikely), I urge you to take the time to seek the Rackotzbrücke out. Even better I think, visit it in Spring when the rhododendrons are in flower (that's a date in our calendar for next year).

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