A bridge that spawned a legend, a children's song and an operetta but now stops in mid-river is surely worth the detour. One thing is certain, though: it's not on this narrow bridge that they used to dance but under it, in open-air dance halls on Barthelasse island. The legend is that one day a shepherd boy called Benoît heard the voice of God telling him to build a bridge over the river from Avignon to Villeneuve-les-Avignon. In defiance of the bishop and despite public ridicule, he carried a huge stone, with the aid of angels of light, and threw it into the river, to the amazement of bystanders. He then had to defy the fast current to build the bridge. Its 22 arches were destroyed and rebuilt, damaged and repaired for five centuries, after which it was left to its fate. Benoît the shepherd boy, meanwhile, was canonised as St. Bénézet.
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