Sur le pont d’Avignon on Y dance…”
How many times did I sing that song while the kid that I was learned french?
In a brief visit, on the bridge of Avignon we didn’t dance, but matched our memories with reality and that is one of the strongest pleasures of travelling.
Lots of history
From Roman times to the 15th century, this was a disputed area and several walls were erected, as the city was growing.
The last and largest ones are well preserved, extending for more than 4 km.
Address: Around the historical centre
Built in the 14th century, this palace, now Unesco Heritage, is a very important remain of one of the most dramatic period of the catholic church. Escaping from the violence in Rome, the pope Clement V moved to Avignon, fixing there the pope’s official residence, until their return to Rome in 1377. French didn’t accept and elected a second pope, opening the crisis known as the occidental schism, lasting until 1403. Occupied by Napoleon to install his troops it was severely damaged, but in 1906 it was recovered to become a museum, with permanent reconstructing works since then.
Address: Place du Palais
Website: Palais du Pape
A famous half bridge
Once used as part of the most important pilgrimage routes between Italy and Spain, this bridge became very important during the popes’ presence, linking the several palaces used by the bishops. Technically, it meant some progress, with wider arches than in roman architecture. Frequently collapsed by flooding and reconstructed, it was abandoned after one more destruction in 1668. The song, maybe more famous than the bridge, was composed in 1853 for an operetta, inspired in a medieval song “Sous le pont d’Avignon” with a different music.
Website: Pont d’Avignon