Photo of the month: Avignon

GoranQ/iStock Photo

Every month we will be sharing a photograph of a place in France. This month we take a look at the historic Provence town of Avignon.

AVIGNON: This historic Vaucluse city nestled on the left bank of the Rhône was once a Papal hub and is home to one of the most famous bridges in France – immortalised forever in song. It may only have four arches but still mesmerises visitors.

Few bridges in France are as well known as Avignon’s Pont St-Bénézet, the subject of a popular song from the 15th century called Sur le Pont d’Avignon.

Only four of the original 22 Rhône-spanning arches remain on the bridge today but it still makes for quite the picture postcard image, with the town’s distinctive skyline rising prominently in the background.

In 1995, the bridge (started in 1177), together with the Palais des Papes (Avignon was the seat of the Catholic popes until 1377) and Cathédrale Notre-Dame des Doms, were classified as a World Heritage Site.

The town is a great place to use as a base for exploring the Vaucluse’s stunning hilltop villages such as Ménerbes and Gordes, not to mention the vines and wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape due north of the city.

Every July Avignon’s streets are alive with performers for one of France’s best arts festivals.

Not to be missed in January...

January 6
Epiphany
The traditional day across France to eat Galette (or Gâteau) des Rois with a fève (originally a bean but now more usually a figurine hidden inside one of the slices).

January 20-21
Truffle festival, Sarlat - The search for black gold
The prestigious and pricey tuber is fussed over and traded in the picturesque Dordogne town. Workshops for the public reveal how to identify them, what to look for in the smell of truffles and how to buy them.

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