Today, we will tell you 8 interesting facts about Avignon. We will talk about its history and its characteristics. Also about its role in Avignon's culture and the city as a whole. In addition, you will discover the main places of this city in the Provence-Alps-Cote d'Azur region. Hop on our AVE (high-speed) France trains, AVE (high-speed) International travelling between Spain and France, and visit these cities and many others in the most comfortable, quick and sustainable way. Let's go!
A little bit more about Avignon
Avignon is a French city found near the Rhone River. It is only eighty kilometres away from Marseille. Its importance lies in the fact that this is the region's administrative centre. But, above all, for having been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. There are plenty of monuments and architecture works of art around the city, among which Avignon bridge stands out.
Avignon was founded in the sixth century BC. In the past, it was famous for being the residence of several Popes. Below are some of the main monuments that you should visit if you travel to Avignon.
- Palais des Papes. Avignon's Palais des Papes has a Gothic construction style. It is one of the most important among all the medieval palaces in Europe. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 1995. The palace is located in a square, within the enclosure surrounded by walls. Its dimensions are breath-taking, as are those of the frescoes preserved inside.
- Avignon Cathedral. Avignon Cathedral has a Romanesque style, and is also one of the city's most important monuments. It was initially built in the twelfth century. The eastern tower had to be rebuilt later on. Other parts of Avignon Cathedral were built later on.
- Petit Palais of Avignon. The Petit Palais or Small Palace of Avignon is an ancient palace. It is currently a museum of art from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
These three monuments, together with the famous Pont d'Avignon and the enclosure surrounded by city walls, were designated a World Heritage Site in 1995.
Pont d'Avignon: eight things you should know
Of all of these monuments, Pont d'Avignon is probably the most famous. This is not only due to the bridge's characteristics. But also because of the legends hide behind it. Stories, culture and tradition. Here are the eight things you should know about Pont d'Avignon.
- Location of Pont d'Avignon. Originally, Pont d'Avignon had a strategic location. This bridge crossed the Rhône. It connected the city of Avignon with the French commune Villeneuve-lès-Avignon. In its day, it also crossed Avignon city wall, actually passing over it.
- Name of the bridge. Currently, this bridge is known across the world as "Pont d'Avignon". However, this monument was originally called Pont Saint Bénézet. This is due to the legend about the construction of Avignon bridge.
- The legend regarding the construction of Pont d'Avignon. The story tells how Bénézet, a young shepherd who arrived in Avignon in 1177, declared that God had spoken to him and told him that a bridge should be built over the river. At first, people didn't believe him. However, the bridge was finally built. It was originally made out of wood. When the young shepherd died, he was buried underneath the bridge. This gave its name to the Pont d'Avignon.
- Characteristics of the original bridge Originally, the Pont d'Avignon was made out of wood. It was later destroyed, and rebuilt in stone several times. The bridge underwent several changes and had to be restored on different occasions. Originally, it was nine hundred metres long. It was made up of twenty-two original arches that supported it. In 1660, a flood destroyed a large portion of the bridge, and this is the state in which it can be seen today.
- Characteristics of the current bridge Originally, the Pont d'Avignon was made up of twenty-two arches. Only four remain right now. Therefore, only part of the bridge remains, which is why it does not cross the river and stands in the middle of the river.
- The song of the Pont d'Avignon. Another reason why the Pont d'Avignon is so famous is the song Sur le Pont d'Avignon. This children's song became very popular over the years. It contributes to making the Pont d'Avignon one of the most famous of the French bridges.
- Avignon: Day trip. Avignon is at a distance of approximately eighty or ninety kilometres from Marseille. It is a very popular tourist destination. In addition, Avignon is only a short train ride away from Marseille. For this reason, if you choose to go on holiday to Marseille, Avignon is the perfect city for a day trip. You can discover the Pont d'Avignon and enjoy this famous city's other spectacular monuments.
- Pont d'Avignon is surrounded by charming places to see. Pont d'Avignon is one of the main wonders of the city. However, it is not the only one. A walk through the narrow streets of Avignon will allow you to admire it. You will notice that this city is not only full of works of art. In fact, Avignon is a work of art in itself. In addition, you can visit the entire city in a single day without getting too tired. It will be a walk that will fascinate you. And not only for its monuments. Also for each of its corners.
Travel to Avignon by train
Our AVE (high-speed) International trains travelling between Spain and France take you to Avignon in no time. Trains travel direct from Barcelona and from Madrid. You have no excuse not to visit Avignon: it is closer than ever. In addition, it is full of works of art and you will love each of its corners. The Pont d'Avignon, the city's culture city and its traditions are now only a few hours from home.
Moreover, you can continue to enjoy France through other cities connected by our AVE (high-speed) France trains such as Marseille, Nîmes, Béziers or Lyon; always from city centre to city centre.
Choose how you would like to travel and what you would like to visit and we will define the destinations and means of transport. Have you found out about our discounts? Benefit from our discounts and get the best price for you.