Sur le Pont d’Avignon

The mistral blows…

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Talk about being in the right place at the right time.

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Pont d’Avignon is a fragmented medieval bridge on the Rhône river in Avignon.

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It is made famous by the children’s song Sur le Pont d’Avignon:

Sur le Pont d’Avignon
On y danse, On y danse
Sur le Pont d’Avignon
On y danse tous en rond

which translates into:

On the bridge of Avignon
There we will dance, there we will dance
On the bridge of Avignon
There we will dance all in a circle

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Except now, I am clutched to the guardrail like my life depends on it.

The force is strong in this wind!

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Fortunately, there is Palais des Papes.

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With an impressive 15,000 square meters of floor space, it is the largest and one of the most important Gothic palace in all of Europe.

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Its history dates back to 1309, when a French pope was elected. Unwilling to face the turmoil in Rome, he moved the administrative center of the Holy See to Avignon. And here it remained for the next seventy years.

The building is vast and empty. With walls as thick as ten feet, it is the perfect fortified palace to defend the center of Christianity.

Of course, not everybody can live like Pope Clement V. When in town, my favorite place to stay is this 16th century monastery.

With a big mossy fountain in the center of its courtyard

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And  you get to wake up listening to this.

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15 thoughts on “Sur le Pont d’Avignon

  1. Nice. I was able to spend a little time in Avignon with a tour once, but it wasn’t much more than an extended lunch stop. Saw the bridge but didn’t get out on it, saw the Popes palace but only from the outside. Lunch was good too, a beef stew that reminded me of a Filippino dish my wife makes called Mechado. Actually, most of the food we had that trip was good, the French reputation is deserved.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Dave. I didn’t get to see much of Avignon the first I was in Avignon either. The friend I went with does not want to have anything to do with Catholic. So I was determined to see these sights this time. By the way the beef stew you had is probably Daube. A Provençal beef braised in wine, I think 🙂 Thank you for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Avignon is a cute little town; I went in March and found the papal palace a nice place to visit. The famous bridge, however, was underwhelming to me since aside from its half-finished structure, it’s architecture didn’t strike me as any different from other commercial bridges I’ve seen in France. Paying money just to be on the bridge was rather a rip-off, too. In any case, I thought Avignon was charming and served as a good day trip from Nimes!

    Liked by 1 person

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