Rakotzbrücke, also called the Devil’s Bridge, looks like something that belongs in a fairytale.
This unique looking bridge is tucked away in a small park in Saxony, Germany. Getting here can be a challenge, since Rakotzbrücke is not located near any major city. However, if you combine a trip here with other nearby destinations, you can turn this visit into a wonderful day trip.
WHAT IS RAKOTZBRÜCKE?
Rakotzbrücke is one of many Devil’s Bridges in Europe.
So, What is a Devil’s Bridge?
Numerous Devil’s Bridges were built during medieval times. These bridges are masonry bridges that are either so spectacular or so challenging to build that only the devil could have helped with their construction. The legend goes that the devil helps to build the bridge in exchange for soul of the first human who crosses the bridge. Each bridge has its own unique folktale.
Rakotzbrücke was built in 1860 by human hands. The entire bridge is manmade, including the jagged, rocky spires on either end of the bridge and the pointed rocks that sit out in the lake. Even though Satan did not play a role in the construction of this bridge, it still gets the name Devil’s Bridge for its delicate arch. It’s so extraordinary that Satan must have built it.
GETTING TO RAKOTZBRÜCKE
Rakotzbrücke is located in Rhododendronpark Kromlau near Gablenz. Most people visit Rakotzbrücke on a day trip from Berlin.
By car: Driving is the most convenient way to get here. From Berlin, it is a 165 km drive, mostly on the Autobahn, and it takes about two hours to get here.
There is a parking lot across the street from the park (GPS coordinates of the parking lot: 51.537472, 14.635447). There is a small fee to park here, using an automated ticket booth. Cross the street and follow the signs pointing towards “Rakotzbrücke.” It is a five-minute walk from the parking lot to the bridge.
By public transportation: From Berlin, take the train to Cottbus and transfer to a second train to Weißwasser. Then take bus 257 to Kromlau. From Kromlau, it is a 1 km walk to Kromlau Park. It takes approximately three hours to get from Berlin to Kromlau.
VISITING KROMLAU PARK
Once you are here, it’s a quick visit. Enjoy the views of Rakotzbrücke, take plenty of photos, and stroll the trails around the lake. Kromlau Park is filled with giant rhododendrons and azaleas, a beautiful place to visit in the spring. Autumn is another great time to visit Rakotzbrücke, to capture photos of the bridge surrounded by the autumn colors. We visited Kromlau Park at the very end of September.
Walking onto Rakotzbrücke is prohibited in order to preserve the bridge. There are fences and Verboten (Do Not Enter) signs at either end of the bridge.
From Berlin, it is a long way to go just to visit a bridge, even a unique bridge like this one. If you have a car, consider combining Rakotzbrücke with other nearby destinations, turning this visit into a really cool road trip. In one day, you can visit Rakotzbrücke, the pretty town of Görlitz, make a quick visit to Poland, and go to a second spectacular bridge, the Bastei.
Also nearby is Bad Muskau, a spa town that sits on the border of Germany and Poland, just several kilometers from Rakotzbrücke. You can visit Muskau Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.