Bridge-Building Brotherhood

Bridge-Building Brotherhood

A Bridge-Building Brotherhood is a religious association whose purpose is building bridges. Bridge-Building Brotherhoods reportedly existed during the 12th and 13th centuries. Not much is known about their origins.

A Work of Piety

Building bridges greatly helped travelers and in particular pilgrims. It was regarded as a work of piety as much as of public utility. Even when no brotherhood or religious organization was involved, it was customary for a bishop to grant indulgences to those who, by money or labor, contributed to the construction of a bridge. The register of the Archbishop of York, Walter de Gray, shows examples of indulgences granted in the 13th century for the building of bridges. In many cases, these associations consisted of three branches-- knights, clergy and artisans. The knights usually contributed most of the funds and were sometimes called "donati", the clergy were usually monks who represented the church, and the artisans where the workers who actually built the bridges. Sisters are sometimes mentioned as belonging to the same association. In addition to the construction of bridges, the brotherhood often attended to the lodging and entertainment of travelers and the collection of alms or "quête".

outhern France

While historically it has been assumed that in southern France the associations formed to build bridges were commonly religious orders living under vows, this has been proved to be erroneousFact|date=May 2007. The brotherhoods in in southern France seem rather to have been guilds or confraternities, or at most to have been organized similarly to a third order, wearing a habit with a distinctive badge, but not being bound by perpetual vows.

Fratres Pontifices

The brotherhood Fratres Pontifices ("Bridgebuilding Brotherhood" in English), or Frères Pontifes, is said to have been founded in the latter part of the 12th century by St. Bénézet (a Provençal variant of the name Benedict). Bénézet was a youth who, according to legend, was divinely inspired to build the bridge across the Rhône at Avignon. The old bridge at Avignon, some arches of which still remain, dates from the end of the 12th century, and it is certain that St. Bénézet was a historical personage. The Fratres Pontifices were certainly very active, and if they did not construct the Avignon bridge they built others at Bonpas, Lourmarin, Mallemort and Mirabeau. They also maintained hospices at the chief fords of the principal rivers, besides building bridges and looking after ferries. There are conflicting sources regarding the recognizance of the Fratres Pontifices by Pope Clement III. One source states that the brotherhood was recognized by Clement III in 1189 (the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition), and other sources report that Clement III addressed a Papal Bull to the Fratres Pontifices in 1191, but the authenticity of that Papal Bull is questioned (Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913). One famous French bridge not constructed by this brotherhood is the bridge over the Rhône at Pont-Saint-Esprit, as attested to by many official documents still in existence and connected with that bridge.


* [ Catholic Encyclopedia article]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bridge-Building Brotherhood, The — • During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, various religious associations were founded for the purpose of building bridges Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • The Bridge-Building Brotherhood —     The Bridge Building Brotherhood     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The Bridge Building Brotherhood     During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, we hear of the existence of various religious associations founded for the purpose of building… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers — Infobox Union name= Ironworkers country= United States, Canada affiliation= AFL CIO, CLC members= full name= International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers native name= founded= 1896 current= head=… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (1928–1938) — The History of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (1928 1938) dicusses the History of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt from the Brotherhood s inception to its development into a viable political force.Early developmentIn 1928, six Egyptian workers… …   Wikipedia

  • Charity and Charities — • In its widest and highest sense, charity includes love of God as well as love of man Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Charity and Charities     Charity and Charities …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Bénézet — Benezet redirects here. See Anthony Benezet for the educator. Infobox Saint name= Saint Bénézet birth date= 1163 death date= 1184 feast day= April 14 venerated in= Roman Catholic Church imagesize= 250px caption= Pont Saint Bénézet before its… …   Wikipedia

  • Chapel — • When St. Martin divided his military cloak (cappa) and gave half to the beggar at the gate of Amiens, he wrapped the other half round his shoulders, thus making of it a cape (capella). This cape, or its representative, was afterwards preserved… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Concordia University — For other uses, see Concordia University (disambiguation). Concordia University Université Concordia Motto Concordia salus Motto in English …   Wikipedia

  • china — /chuy neuh/, n. 1. a translucent ceramic material, biscuit fired at a high temperature, its glaze fired at a low temperature. 2. any porcelain ware. 3. plates, cups, saucers, etc., collectively. 4. figurines made of porcelain or ceramic material …   Universalium

  • China — /chuy neuh/, n. 1. People s Republic of, a country in E Asia. 1,221,591,778; 3,691,502 sq. mi. (9,560,990 sq. km). Cap.: Beijing. 2. Republic of. Also called Nationalist China. a republic consisting mainly of the island of Taiwan off the SE coast …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”