Bridge Title
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Name Pont D'Avignon, Le Pont Saint-Benezet
Where Avignon, France 
Latitude N 43 57' 14"
Longitude E 04 48' 14"
When 1177-1185 first bridge built. Three quarters destroyed by Louis VIII in 1226. Rebuilt few years later but then various spans collapsed in 17th century and bridge was abandoned in 1663
Why Originally spanned the River Rhone at Avignon. Now only the four famous arches and the Philippe le Bel tower (situated where the bridge would reach if it were still complete) remain - and of course there is the song "Sur le pont d'Avignon......"
Overall type Masonry arch
Width 4 m.
Length Originally 920 m. with 22 arches - now only 4
Materials Masonry
How to read the bridge Read more about arches.....

Read more about the book metaphor.....
Legend of Saint Benezet A young shepherd named Benezet, from the the mountains of Ardeche, came to Avignon in 1177. Whilst the bishop was giving a blessing one Sunday, Benezet called out that he had been commissioned by the Almighty to build a bridge across the Rhone. The people mocked him and challenged him to take an enormous stone and throw it into the river. Benezet didn't hesitate - he picked it up and threw it into the water - much to everyone's amazement. They said he had been helped by divine intervention - there was even talk of him being helped by angels bathed in golden light. The legend was passed down and came to represent the challenge of working against the elements.



Pictures from Robert Gregory & David Blockley, UK - September 2008