Bénézet's legend

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The bridge - ©Chimigi / CC-BY-SA The bridge - ©Chimigi / CC-BY-SA
Avignon bridge Bridge Legend

The legend said in the 12th century, God asked a young shepherd, Benoît (called Benezet), to raise a bridge upon the Rhone river. But the young boy ignored how to do this! So he left his family and went near the river banks in order to accomplish his mission.

There, he met the bishop of Avignon and told him about his divine plan. The bishop, first suspicious, laughed and said to Benezet: OK, you will raise your bridge, if you can lift that big, big stone! Benezet succeeded in lifting the stone! And he was allowed to erect his bridge, from 1177...

The building site was completed in 1188: the bridge was 900 metres long, with 22 arches! Then, river Rhône damaged it many times: in 1602, 3 arches were demolished by floods. During 1669 winter, 2 other arches.


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