Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sur le Pont d'Avignon

Sur le pont d'Avignon l'on y danse tout en rond. On the bridge in Avignon everyone is dancing in a circle. Well, not on the day I was there anyway. Now it costs 12€ to walk on the bridge that doesn't go anywhere. In the 17th century, it was abandoned after repeated collapses. Only 4 of the original 22 arches remain today. Nevertheless, this bridge and it's song are famous throughout the Francophone world.

In the 14th century, however, Avignon was famously home to the Papacy. From 1309 to 1377, seven Popes ruled the church from Avignon instead of Rome. Quickly, the rural town was fortified into a seat of power. The Palais des Papes and much of the old city walls remain today. This makes Avignon a must see destination when visiting Provence.

Getting there is easy. From our home in Chusclan it's a 30 minute car ride. Avignon also has a TGV (bullet train) station. Via the TGV you can travel from Paris to Avignon in less than 3 1/2 hours. The same car ride would take over 6 hours.

The architecture of the train station matches the spirit of the high-tech train. The arching shell of an enclosure implies speed. Quick entry to the station and even faster departure. Even the street lamps outside the station have gone high-tech. Special wind-turbines power the lights.

View more of my photos of Avignon on Flickr
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This work by Ken Maschke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.