Name given to several societies formed in southern France in the 12th and 13th centuries to erect bridges. They resembled guilds, or possibly even Third Orders, but did not constitute religious congregations, as frequently supposed. Knights, clergy, and artisans made up the membership, and some women were admitted. Hospices were conducted by the brothers, where travelers were received and alms obtained. The Fratres Pontifices or Freres Pontifes were a well-known association. They constructed, among others, the bridges at Bonpas, Lourmarin, Mallemort, and Mirabeau. Saint Benezet was their legendary founder. In northern Italy there were similar associations.