/ / The Pont d'avignon: photos, description Pont Saint-Benezet)

The Pont d'avignon: photos, description Pont Saint-Benezet)

The Pont d'avignon is situated above the Rhône river, near the papal Palace. He is known for several reasons. This bridge was immortalized in the nursery rhyme of the XV century "Sur le Pont d'avignon", which was sung by children around the world. For example, in China it is even taught in school. In the twentieth century this song was sung by the inimitable Mireille Mathieu.

Of course, the Pont d'avignon bridge has historical value. The legend about it is very beautiful. In the XII century, 12-year-old Benoit was a divine vision. The angel told him to go and build a bridge across the river. And little Benoit began to build a bridge. Construction was delayed for 8 years and went from 1177 to 1185. A little later, Benoit became known as the St. Benezet, his name is this bridge.

Upon completion, the bridge had 22 of the arched span and a length of 915 m and connects France and the papal States. He became the first crossing point for travelers and traders on their way to Ron at the sea side. Here was a frontier, and collection of taxes and duties.

Turbulent character of the Rhone caused numerous damage of this structure. The first arch of the bridge collapsed in 1603, and then, in 1605, was destroyed three arches. However, in 1628 all four flights were restored. A new rockslide occurred a few years after the bridge in 1633, fell two arches, and in 1669, after severe flooding on the Rhone were only four flights. To the present day preserved only these four flights and the chapel of St. Nicholas on the second pylon, of mixed Romanesque-Gothic style.

The two-storey chapel of St. Nicholas, located in the centre of the dilapidated bridge, and served as the burial place of St. Benedict, the patron Saint of Provence. In 1674 the relics of the Saint were transferred to Selestinskie the Church of Avignon, but during the French revolution the relics of the Saint were lost.