Japanese Covered Bridgeor Cau Pagoda that curved squeezed through a small creek flowing into Thu Bon River,connect Tran Phu street with Nguyen Thi Minh Khai street. It is the only ancient bridge in Hoi An and has become symbol of ancient town. It should not be missed once you travel there.
The bridge was built in 17th Century by Japanese businessmen for traffic convenience. In 1653, pagoda section was designed that connect to the railing and protrude in middle. In 1719, Nguyen Phuc Chu Lord named for this bridge was Lai Van Kieu which means "The bridge welcome afar guests". Later, it was restored in 1817, 1865, 1915, and 1986. Therefore the appearance today does not keep the original Japanese architecture any more, its architecture reflect Vietnam culture.
Cau pagoda is one of the special architectural monuments. The roof is made by Yin- Yang tile. It shapes like the Cong shape.Pagodas and bridge are carved meticulously wooden, and the facade turned toward the river. From the outside, Japanese Covered Bridge has a curved roof, supported by a system of structural wood, and the foundation is arch pillar stone. There are two walkway pave wooden in two side for everyone who cross and stop at the bridge to sightseeing. The pagoda is separated with the bridge, by a layer of wooden walls and doors. Although, Itis called as pagoda, but no Buddha statue inside. A wooden statue of Bac Tran Vo-Gods is worshipped here; he was person who protects land, give joy and happiness to everyone.
Not only built because of transportation purpose, the Japanese Covered bridge also is built to control monster. The legend has it that, there was a monster named Mamazu,its head in India, its tail in Japan and its body in Vietnam. Whenever the monster moved, terrible disasters such as floods and earthquakes befell. It influenced to Japanese, Vietnamese and Chinese who worked in Hoi An. That is reason why this bridge was built. The entrances of the bridge are guarded by a pair of monkeys on one side and a pair of dogs on the other side. These animals are worshipped Japanese for a long time. Another story says that construction of the bridge started in the year of the monkey and was finished in the year of the dog. The local people often burn incense before the dog statue and monkey statue to pray lucky, happiness.