Europe for Cruisers - Home
Cruise Lines Cruise Reviews
Venice for Cruisers Rome for Cruisers

Avignon, France
from MS Maribelle Photos

photo

Avignon

From the ramparts, you can look down on the Pont St-Bénezet. This is the bridge that inspired the song "Sur Le Pont d'Avignon."

According to legend, the bridge was built after God suggested the idea to Bénezet (then a shepherd boy) in 1177, although archæologists believe that an earlier bridge crossed the Rhône in the same location during Roman times. In any event, the new bridge was a major asset for the city, since it was the only bridge across the river between the Mediterranean and Lyon, and its founder went on to sainthood.

Sieges and river currents destroyed portions of the bridge over the next few hundred years, and the city fathers stopped rebuilding it after 1668. The bridge once had 22 arches; today, there are just four arches and a chapel that was enlarged in the 1500s. You can walk out onto the surviving arches of the Pont St-Bénezet for a rather steep admission charge.

<< Previous photo

Next photo >>

MS Maribelle Photo Index


More about Viking River Cruises:
MS Maribelle Cruise Review (21 pages)

Topics in this photo gallery:
MS Maribelle
Along the river
Chalon-sur-Saône
Beaune
Macon
Lyon
Vienne
Tournon-sur-Rhône, Vivarais Railroad
Viviers
Avignon
Les Baux de Provence
Arles
Pont du Gard