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Avignon - Home of Popes and a Famous Bridge | Cruising in France

Cruising in France

...Travel blog about river and canal cruise vacations on luxury barges and riverboats

 

Avignon - Home of Popes and a Famous Bridge

Written by Carolyn on July 31, 2009
Summary:

Any Rhone River cruise should include a visit to Avignon, a World Heritage Site.

One of the main stops on any cruise on the Rhone River in southern France is Avignon. Here, the riverboats dock right at the foot of history. A flourishing city in Roman times, Avignon is now best known for its high medieval walls, its Palace of the Popes and its broken bridge.

During the 14th century, the seat of the Roman Catholic papacy was moved from Rome to Avignon, and seven popes resided there during a period of almost 70 years. In 1348, Pope Clement VI bought the city from the Duchess of Provence, and Avignon remained a papal property until the French Revolution.

Palace of the Popes, Avignon, France Pont d'Avignon, France Indoor Market, Avignon, France

The thick walls built by the popes still encircle the city (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and the narrow streets, while fine for pedestrians, are best left to local drivers unless you have a very small rental car and a very good navigator!

If you’ve ever studied French, you may have learned the song “Sur le pont d’Avignon” which describes dancing “on the bridge of Avignon.” The Saint Bénézet bridge used to span the Rhône River from Avignon to Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, crossing over the Île de Barthelasse. It is on this island that people probably danced under (not on) the bridge

The bridge was built in the late 12th century at the urging of Saint Bénézet, a local shepherd boy who, according to tradition, was commanded by angels to build a bridge across the river. It originally had 22 arches and was nearly 3000 feet long. However, over the centuries, most of the bridge was destroyed by floods, and today only 4 arches remain

Avignon also has a large indoor market, where you can buy anything from cheese and sausages to regional candy specialties like calissons d’Aix (my personal favorite).

5 Comments so far ↓

  1. Aug
    19
    1:08
    AM
    John

    In truth, immediately i didn’t understand the essence. But after re-reading all at once became clear.

  2. Aug
    23
    9:06
    AM
    Crasty

    I really like your blog and i respect your work. I’ll be a frequent visitor.

  3. Aug
    24
    10:04
    PM
    Brown

    Are you a professional journalist? You write very well.

  4. Sep
    8
    1:06
    PM
    Carolyn

    Thanks for your kind comments. I’m not a professional journalist, but I do like to write.

  5. Jan
    18
    11:31
    AM
    Carolee Lamora

    I am very thankful to this topic because it really gives great information “`:

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