Bridge of Avignon

Sunday, April 17, 2016
  • PROVENCE EXPLORER
  • PROVENCE EXPLORER
  • PROVENCE EXPLORER

Once upon a time, a bishop had to find a way to bring money to Avignon. Looking down the Rhone river from the heights of the Rocher des Doms, he saw the solution spotting ruins of a roman bridge. He decided to build a bridge on the very same place between the city of Avignon and Villeneuve-lès-Avignon and to make the users pay a fee. In order to motivate the hungry population to build the bridge he used his young clerk, Benoit de Saint Benezet. He asked him to pretend he received a divine order to build a bridge that will bring wealth on the people. The lie allowed the construction of a beautiful 915m bridge with 22 arches but failed to feed the people. Money went directly in the bishop’s pockets.
Nowadays the bridge is only half its size. Only 4 arches remain. But people from all around the world keep on singing the famous children song ‘Sur le pont d’Avignon’.