Part of the city's landscape since the 12th century, the now truncated Pont d’Avignon once spanned the entire width of the Rhone river, some 900 meters (3,000 foot) across. The first crossing over the river was made of wood, and the stone bridge you can see today originally had 22 arches when it was first built in the 1100s, though only four remain today.
Sections of the bridge washed away due to flood waters multiple times over the years, until it was finally abandoned in the mid-17th century. Two important constructions remain: the ancient Chapel of Saint Nicholas built above the second arch, and the Philippe-le-Bel tower, where the bridge meets the land on the Avignon side. To see more of the region, join a guided tour that explores the top sights including the bridge and Palais des Papes.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Entry to the bridge is via paid ticket.
- Personal audio guides provided on site allow you to explore at your own pace.
- There’s an access lift for wheelchair users.
- In the Middle Ages, the bridge was a key crossing for pilgrims travelling between Italy and Spain.
How to Get There
Saint Benezet Bridge is in the heart of Avignon Old Town, close to the Palais de Papes. It’s accessible on foot from the palace, or by the town’s Petit Train, that tours around key attractions several times per day all year round.
When to Get There
The bridge is open every day of the year. Avignon is a pleasant destination to visit at any time of year. In the summer months, the Jazz Festival and Theatre Festival draw extra visitors to the town.
Walk in the Gardens at Rocher des Doms After a busy morning sightseeing, cool off with a shady stroll in the charming gardens on top of the Rocher des Doms, a rocky outcrop just behind the Pont d’Avignon. Pack a picnic lunch or buy a snack at the cafe next to the duck pond in the gardens.
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