keywords: human heritage, southern france, tourist resort, town
related topics: Pope palace , Avignon bridge
related web sites: http://www.ot-avignon.fr , http://www.avignon.fr , http://www.festival-avignon.com , http://www.avignon-tourisme.com
explanation: Located in southern France on the bank of Rhone river, Avignon had been a small town in the shadow of other big Roman cities like Orange, Arles and Nimes nearby. In 737, Charles Martel destroyed Avignon because it had supported Saracens while in 1226 by Louis VIII because of Catharism. Avignon seizes a chance when the pontificate moved there in 1309. Enlisted to human heritage since 1995, Avignon is the capital of Vaucluse prefecture and the population 86000. It organizes "Festival of Avignon" each summer.
Pont d'Avignon , Pont Saint-Benézet
alternative words: Pont d'Avignon, Saint Benezet bridge
keywords: human heritage, southern france, tourist resort
related topics: Avignon
related web sites: http://www.avignon.fr/fr/culture/musees/pont.php , http://www.romanes.com/Avignon/SaintBenezet/ , http://www.avignon-et-provence.com/avignon/monuments/stBenezet/
explanation: Though there had existed already a Roman bridge over the Rhone at Avignon, after its disappearance, there was no more bridge between Lyon and Mediterranean Sea In order to remedy this situation, Saint Benezet collected donations to build a new one. This bridge, achieved in 1185 had 22 arches and 4m width, not enough to dance in circle contrary to a popular song. It was destroyed in 1226 during a crusade against Cathars by King Louis VIII, but soon replaced by another with Saint Nicolas Chapel over deck.
alternative words: Château d'Azay-le-Rideau, Azay-le-Rideau
keywords: castle, human heritage, loire region, tourist resort
related topics: Tours
related web sites: http://www.linternaute.com/sortir/chateaux-loire/7.shtml , http://www.loire-france.com/visites/chateaux/azay-le-rideau/ , http://www.casteland.com/pfr/chateau/centre/indreloire/azay/azay_hist.htm
explanation: There had existed already a medieval castle on an islet inside Indre, tributary of Loire, since 11th century, but the crown prince (future Charles VII) being insulted by the garrison of the castle in 1418, he ordered to burn it out. Later, King's treasurer and Tours' mayor, Gilles Berthelot, began to build a new castle in 1518, inspired by Blois castle. Though, Gilles, being accused of a fraud, couldn't add the eastern wing, its stairwell is one of the master pieces among French renaissance style castles.