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Standing in the rain on the Bridge at Avignon (Sur le pont d' Avignon) France over the Rhone | by ggarner
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Standing in the rain on the Bridge at Avignon (Sur le pont d' Avignon) France over the Rhone

We paid our entrance fee and climbed up the stairs to the entrance in the outer wall to go out on the Bridge. We walked across the drawbridge held by massive chains that could be used to raise the drawbridge if the enemy had tried to come across the bridge to get into the city. There is no ramp to get down from the city end of the bridge so there is a question of whether there had been one when it was built or how carts and horse drawn vehicles had gotten from the bridge down into the city. It couldn't happen today, as there is only a stair case (although an elevator has been added for handicapped access). Note the open iron rail on both sides of the bridge. I'm not sure the rail is original, although it is clearly very old. The stone work only comes up a few inches, so another question arises as to how safe it would have been when built, if it didn't have the iron rail. The Papal Palace is in the background, where 9 popes lived when Avignon was the center of the Catholic Church.

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Taken on November 29, 2009