Like most Canadian children, I learned the song "Sur le Pont d'Avignon" in school. I taught it for many years as an elementary school teacher. I've always wanted to go and dance on the bridge, properly called Pont Saint-Bénézet. When visiting Avignon, I finally checked it off my list. The story behind the bridge tells that the bridge was built in the 12th century by a young shepherd named Bénezet who heard voices telling him to build a bridge in Avignon. When the wooden bridge was finished it was the only Rhône crossing between Lyon and the Mediterranean spanning 900 meters and including 22 arches. It was dismantled after about 40 years and rebuilt. It was washed away several times by floods and was rebuilt every time until the 17th century, eventually replacing much of the wooden structure. All that is left today are 4 arches and a tiny chapel dedicated to Saint Nicolas. Take some time to read about the construction and reconstruction of the bridge as it was truly an engineering feat. It will cost you 5€ to visit, with no extra charge for dancing... although the people around you will definitely enjoy the show. Enjoy a bit of Friday fun!
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