AVIGNON, PROVENCE – MAY 2005
It is said that Avignon has three hundred days of sun a year. Something like Naples, Florida, without the millionaires, I would say... We weren't that lucky, however, the days we stayed there. Anyhow Avignon, the capital of the Vaucluse département, is a beautiful small town (ninety thousand inhabitants), and definitely deserves a visit! And in July, it's time for the Festival d'Avignon. From 6th through 27th July, 2007, we’ll have the 61st edition...
"GARGOYLES against a cloudy sky"
"LE PONT D'AVIGNON - There is a legend about the bridge: a young shepherd by the name of Bénezet came to Avignon from his native Ardèche, in 1177. He said that he was sent by God to build a bridge there. Mocked by the crowd, the shepherd was challenged by the bishop to lift a huge stone and throw it into the Rhône. Bénezet did not hesitate and lifted a mammoth block and pull it into the water, assisted, it is said, by divine intervention. The «Pont St. Bénezet», open to traffic in 1184, was the first construction over the Rhone River, between Lyon and the Mediterranean Sea. The bridge was paved in 1377, and “collapsed” in the 17th century. «Sur le Pont d’Avignon» is also the name of a famous song: «Sur le Pont d'Avignon, on y danse, on y danse, sur le pont d'Avignon, on y danse tous en rond...»"
"WALKING around, near the Rue de la République"
"ON THE WAY to the Popes Palace Square"
"NOTRE DAME DES DOMS on the top of the Romanesque style cathedral, and the tower of the Palace"
"PALAIS DES MONNAIES (THE MINT) - The baroque front of the Mint contrasts with the austere walls of the Palace of the Popes who face him. Built in 1619, the eagles and the dragons shown are the weapons of the family of the cardinal of Borghèse. The Mint houses today the academy of music Olivier Messiaen, and in July, during the Festival of Avignon, the association Avignon Festival Off"
"PLACE DU PALAIS - The Popes Palace Square is a large esplanade of 240x48 metres. It is overlooked by the impressive façade of the Palace of the Popes, facing the baroque sculptures of the Avignon's Mint"
"PALACE OF THE POPES - «The most beautiful and the strongest house in the world» is the way Jean Froissart described the Palace of the Popes. The construction was started in 1335 and completed in less than twenty years. It was included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1995. Decorated by Simone Martini and Matteo Giovanetti, it dominates the city, the surrounding ramparts and the remains of a 12th century bridge over the Rhone"
"LA COMPAGNIE DES COMPTOIRS - A very nice place to have dinner and enjoy..."