One of the most photographed sights in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, El Pont del Bisbe (Bishop’s Bridge) was built for the Barcelona International Exposition which took place in 1929.
The bridge was designed by architect Joan Rubió I Bellver who suggested that all non-Gothic buildings in the immediate vicinity of Barcelona Cathedral should be demolished and replaced by new Gothic style buildings.
Fortunately, Rubió’s plan to beautify the Gothic Quarter was rejected and only the bridge, which links the Palau de la Generalitat to La Casa dels Canonges, was built.
Legends and Superstitions Surrounding the Pont del Bisbe
Despite the fact that it is one of the newest buildings in the area, the neo-Gothic bridge is associated with several local legends and superstitions.
Hardly surprisingly, all of the legends relate to the gruesome skull and dagger motif which decorates the underside of the bridge.
Some say that the skull was the architect’s way of expressing his displeasure after his original plan was turned down. Others have even suggested that, rather than being a stone carving, it is in fact a real human skull!
Another legend says that if the dagger which traverses the skull is ever removed then the city of Barcelona will be destroyed.
On a more positive note. Another legend states that if you make a wish while walking backwards under the bridge and looking directly at the skull then that wish will come true.
El Pont del Bisbe is located on Carrer del Bisbe which runs between Plaça de Sant Jaume and Plaça Nova.
How to get there:
The nearest metro stop is Jaume I on the L4 yellow line.