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The Bridge of Lies, one of Sibiu's medieval brands

The Bridge of Lies, one of Sibiu’s medieval brands

‘The Bridge of Lies’, one of the symbols of Sibiu, was rebuilt in 1859 by Friedrich Hütte and it is the first cast-iron bridge in Romania and second in Europe. The bridge was built above Ocnei Street which connected the Lower Town and the Upper Town. Originally, the bridge was designed in wood, and ‘passing under the Bridge of Lies was illuminated by three torches during the night and guarded by three sentinels’, as Emil Sigerius specified in 1771. The bridge initially served to the wagon traffic, according to locals. Before its construction, the access between the two areas -‘Piata Mica’ and ‘Piata Huet’- was made under a conglomerate of buildings destroyed in 1851.

The bridge was built with decorations made by fret sawing, with two large circles at the end, adorned with the emblem of Sibiu. Since the bridge was built on pillars, it was called  Liegenbrücke in German, which in translation means “the bridge down”. This name is almost homophonous with Lügenbrücke, which is why some locals began to call him “the bridge of lies” and it appeared that legends do justify the name.

‘The Bridge of Lies’ hides four of the most beautiful legends that go about this region for over 140 years. The most popular legend says that the bridge has ears and also possesses an inconceivable power so that to every lie, it begins to groan from all its junctures and collapses, bringing the liar down to earth.

According to another legend, there were fairs in ‘Piata Mica’ in Sibiu, and buyers who used to go shopping there realized they were cheated only after they got home. The legend says that those merchants caught cheating their customers were punished by being thrown off the bridge. Thus, once arrived in Sibiu, merchants feared to deceive the locals.

One of the ‘spiciest’ legends claims that the bridge was the meeting place for lovers, the place where girls’ future was to be decided. They say girls caught lying about their virginity were dragged on the bridge and thrown off.

At the same time, many cadets studying at the Military Academy in Sibiu used to meet with young local girls on the bridge, promising them lots of things. Unfortunately, in most of the cases, the girls were waiting for the cadets in vain, as the young men usually forgot about them and their vows of love.

In 2004 the bridge was included on the list of historical monuments in Sibiu County.

About Ramona Ciortescu