Pont St-Bénézet

sights / Architecture

Lonely Planet review

According to legend, pastor Bénezet had three saintly visions urging him to build a bridge across the Rhône. Completed in 1185, the bridge linked Avignon with Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, controlling trade at this vital crossroads. It was rebuilt several times, before all but four of its spans were washed away in the mid-1600s.

Don't be surprised if you spot someone attempting a dance. In France, Pont St-Béezet is known as the Pont d’Avignon, from the chirpy nursery rhyme: 'Sur le pont d’Avignon / L’on y danse, l'on y danse...' (On Avignon Bridge, all are dancing...).

If you don't want to pay to visit the bridge, you can see it free from the Rocher des Doms park, Pont Édouard Daladier or from across the river on the Île de la Barhelasse's chemin des Berges.