The Rohan Bridge, built in 1510 in Landerneau, Finisterre, is one of the last inhabited bridges in Europe.
This old infrastructure, 70 meters long, withstood four fires but is weakened by the weight of centuries and the onslaught of the tides.
Magali Prigent, responsible for preserving the city’s heritage, explained that “it was common” in the Middle Ages to find bridges inhabited in cities, “residential bridges” because they were “strategic places” and at that time population centers were very “concentrated” and people they used “all available square meters to settle down.”
It’s not as famous a bridge as Vecchio in Florence, yet it carries the brunt of the years. Patrick Leclerc, the mayor of Landerneau, came to inhabit it. “It’s a real city”, he told, “among the inhabitants, the commerce, we can treat ourselves, eat, have a drink. It’s almost possible to have complete autonomy. But this inhabited bridge has the weight of its age, five centuries, which means that with construction, reconstruction, the modifications of certain buildings, problems were created and there was a landslide, the stones began to loosen up one after the other and then it all went back.”
The Rohan Bridge has another peculiarity. Underneath it, the fresh water of the Elorn River and the salty water of the Atlantic Ocean pass through a bridge that has a huge story to tell.