This old covered bridge in Hoi An seems to be a bit of an enigma. Nobody seems to be know exactly when it was first built or when and how often it was reconstructed over the centuries.
Foreigners know this as the 'Japanese Bridge' recalling a time when this small canal separated the Chinese and the Japanese quarters of the trading port. It is thought that the bridge was built as a symbol of friendship.
The Vietnamese know it as the 'Pagoda Bridge' because the bridge contains a small temple like many examples of chapel bridges in Europe.
It is said that the Japanese established the original shrine to appease Kashima the Shinto thunder god who had the power to quell Nazuma the Earthquake Catfish Monster by placing a stone on it's body.
Nazuma whose head is in India and tail in Japan was said to be the cause of earthquakes in Japan.
I had a look at other temple or chapel bridges and it seems that Yorkshire has more than it's fair share! I also found some in St. Ives (Cambs) and Bradford on Avon and glorious example in Lucerne.
Interestingly, it is possible that the Japanese bridge in Hoi is perhaps the most modern of these examples many of which date back to the 14th century.
|St. Mary's Chapel - Wakefield|
|Bradford on Avon|
|The Chapel Bridge - St. Ives (Cambs)|
|Our Lady of the Bridge, Rotherham|
|Le Pont D'avignon|
|The Chapel Bridge - Lucerne|