The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Spring 2022

Discover Paris in the spring, Caen in Normandy and its marvellous markets plus Yvoire, a picturesque village on the edge of Lake Geneva in Haute-Savoie. Explore Saint-Omer, a historic city in the far north that's full of secrets and treasures, and Evian, where Frankenstein's monster stayed! Head with us to Metz in Lorraine to find out about its incredible past, La Couvertoirade, one of the prettiest villages in France, and the UNESCO heritage of Avignon. Guides, gorgeous photos, what's new in France, the best tours and delicious recipes from the legendary Le Nôtre bakery in Paris - and more.

Rocher des Doms Gardens

Rocher des Doms Gardens A short walk from the cathedral you’ll find the Rocher des Doms park. From its peak you have panoramic views of the Rhone river. It’s a beautiful park, centred around a pond which is home to swans and other waterfowl, and offers a green refuge from the summer heat to tourists and locals alike. Clos de la Vigne Within the Rocher des Doms park the Clos de la Vigne is the only AOC intramural vineyard in France on a UNESCO World Heritage site. The small parcel of vines features 12 grape varieties for red and white wines. Grapes are harvested by hand, and in 2021 the first bottles of matured wine were auctioned for charity. The vineyard overlooks the river Rhone and the famous Saint-Bénézet bridge, the town’s emblem and yet another UNESCO listed monument in Avignon… © Sylvie Villeger 52 | The Good Life France

© Jill Converyr Saint-Bénézet bridge – the Pont d’Avignon The building of the bridge of Avignon was begun in 1175 after a 10 year-old shepherd from the Ardèche named Bénézet (which means ‘Little Benoit’) claimed to have been told by God to build a bridge along the waterfront in Avignon. Legend has it that, after walking to Avignon, accompanied by an angel disguised as a pilgrim, he was challenged by the Bishop’s provost to carry an impossibly large block of stone to the water’s edge. It was so large, it was said that thirty strong men couldn’t move it. The tale goes that aided by angels bathed in golden light, he hoisted the stone onto his shoulder and laid it as the foundation stone for the Bridge. Overcome by this miraculous feat, benefactors supplied sufficient funds. It took ten years to complete the bridge. Bénézet’s feat was declared a miracle, though he died without seeing it completed, he died in 1184. Pilgrims flocked to see the bridge whose fame spread far and wide, and the shepherd became the patron saint of bridge builders. Originally almost a kilometre long, the bridge had 22 arches. It was built at a point of the river where the force of water was so strong, even Roman engineers were deterred from building there. Today, only four arches remain, the bridge having been poor maintained, reconstructed several times and finally swept away by floods, it collapsed in the 17th century and it’s said that King Louis XIV was one of the last people to walk across it. On the bridge the little stone Chapel of Saint- Bénézet where the saint was originally buried, was rebuilt in 1414 after the “War of the Catalonians”. The Saint’s remains are now in the nearby 14th century Gothic church of Saint- Didier, built during the time of the Popes in Avignon. The ramparts of Avignon The old city of Avignon is encircled by ramparts. They are 4.3km long and were The Good Life France | 53