Pont d'Avignon

Avignon, France

The Pont Saint-Bénézet, also known as the Pont d'Avignon, is a famous medieval bridge in the town of Avignon. It was built between 1177 and 1185. This early bridge was destroyed forty years later during the Albigensian Crusade when Louis VIII of France laid siege to Avignon. The bridge was rebuilt with 22 stone arches. It was very costly to maintain as the arches tended to collapse when the Rhône flooded. Eventually in the middle of the 17th century the bridge was abandoned.

The four surviving arches on the bank of the Rhône are believed to have been built in around 1345 by Pope Clement VI during the Avignon Papacy. The Chapel of Saint Nicholas sits on the second pier of the bridge. It was constructed in the second half of 12th century but has since been substantially altered. The western terminal, the Tour Philippe-le-Bel, is also preserved.

The bridge was the inspiration for the song Sur le pont d'Avignon and is considered a landmark of the city. In 1995, the surviving arches of the bridge, together with the Palais des Papes and Avignon Cathedral were classified as a World Heritage Site.

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Details

Founded: 1177-1185
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jochen Ickert (14 months ago)
The famous historic Bridge of Avignon. In fact it is only half bridge as part of it was broken down centuries ago due to changed of streaming of river Rhone. Marvellous walk and Tables with good explanations about construction and history also in English. A lift allows also access for handicaped onto the Bridge.
Caroline Findlay (2 years ago)
Historic and world famous monument. You could just admire the bridge from afar, but I think it’s definitely worth paying to go and explore properly. You’re given a little handheld device which gives you snippets of information along various points of the bridge. Thankfully the recordings only last for less than 2 minutes - which is plenty of time to give you some interesting facts without boring you to tears! It’s also worth visiting at sunset and when it gets dark - it’s a really beautiful monument at all times of the day and night.
Serena Favaro (2 years ago)
A nice bridge with beautiful views wooden bridge spanning the Rhône between Villeneuve-lès-Avignon and Avignon was built between 1177 and 1185. This early bridge was destroyed forty years later in 1226 during the Albigensian Crusade when Louis VIII of France laid siege to Avignon. Beginning in 1234 the bridge was rebuilt with 22 stone arches. The stone bridge was about 900 m (980 yd) in length and only 4.9 m (16 ft 1 in) in width, including the parapets at the sides. The bridge was abandoned in the mid-17th century as the arches tended to collapse each time the Rhône flooded making it very expensive to maintain. Four arches and the gatehouse at the Avignon end of the bridge have survived. The Chapel of Saint Nicholas which sits on the second pier of the bridge, was constructed in the second half of 12th century but has since been substantially altered. The western terminus, the Tour Philippe-le-Bel, is also preserved. The bridge was the inspiration for the song Sur le pont d'Avignon and is considered a landmark of the city. In 1995, the surviving arches of the bridge were classified as a World Heritage Site, together with the Palais des Papes, Cathédrale Notre-Dame des Doms, and other monuments from the historic centre of Avignon, because of its testimony to Avignon's leading role in the Papacy during the 14th and 15th centuries.
Tomáš Bury (2 years ago)
A world-famous monument, a trip to Avignon would certainly not be complete without a visit to it. The bridge itself and the views from it are definitely worth a visit, it's an amazing place. We visited during the summer season on a weekday and it wasn't terribly crowded. The entrance fee is very reasonable.
Lam Dinh (2 years ago)
We stopped by this bridge as part of a combo ticket that also included the palace of popes and the garden of the palace of popes. The views were nice and they had video exhibits explaining the history of the bridge and how it has been destroyed over time. One of the more Roman inspired aspects of the city.
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