You probably remember “London Bridge is Falling Down”, or “Ring Around the Rosie” (not so nursery-rhyme-ish when you realize that the “falling down” punch line is actually a reference to people dying from the plague) but in Avignon we learned that French children sing a different tune: “”Sur Le Pont D’Avignon”.
After checking into our hotel, we walked over to the storied Pont St. Benezet, which stretches just a bit more than halfway across the Rhone River.
According to legend, a poor shepherd boy, later canonized as St. Benezet, claimed he had been commanded by angels to build the bridge, which joined Avignon to Vileneuve-les-Avignon on the left bank of the Rhone. The boy was initially ridiculed for his idea, but after he miraculously hefted a boulder to begin the work, the townspeople gathered to support him and his project. After his death. St. Benezet was interred in the Chapelle St. Nicholas beneath the bridge.
After touring the bridge, we returned to our hotel to settle in. We stayed at the wonderful La Mirande:
And the very best thing about La Mirande is its location right next to Avignon’s biggest attraction, which will be the subject of the next post.