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The Bridge of Saint Esprit
Pont Saint Esprit
    
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bridge of Saint Esprit Why is it called the Bridge of Saint-Esprit? It was named after the nearby oratory, which was dedicated to the third person of the Holy Trinity. The oratory was located on the right bank of the Rhône.
 
The first stone was placed on September 12, 1265, on the left bank of the river. Around 1295, there was an effort to fortify the construction with towers. In 1307, only one arch remined to be built, and the bridge was opened to traffic in 1309. Empty carts crossed the bridge while merchandise was transported by a trough.
Hours Guided tours available for groups on request. Call the tourism office at 04 66 39 44 45.
Bridge of Saint Esprit

Bridge of Saint Esprit

Bridge of Saint Esprit

 

The piers on the eastern side were built on firm ground; those on the opposite side were built directly on the rock, and the others were built on stilts. The piers were protected by triangular spouts that could break the force of the water. Each pier forms an abutment, so the arches could be built one after the other. They number twenty, and each one is composed of four juxtaposed arches.
 
A defensive structure was added in 1358. To the west, on the second pile, there is a 15th-century building called "la Tour du Roy" (the King's Tower). An adjoining tower was used to house the bridge guards. Another tower at the bend in the bridge once contained the chapel of Saint Nicolas, with a prison below. To the east, the tower "devers l'Empire" (facing the Empire) was protected by a drawbridge.
 
In the 16th century, the eastern arch was destroyed and replaced by three small arches.
 
In the 18th century, the towers were destroyed, and decorative gates were built. In the 19th century, the bridge, which was open to traffic, was redeveloped: in 1861 it was widened by two meters to allow carts to pass, the piles were doubled, and the spouts were redone.
 
In 1856, an arch was created for barges, but it was destroyed in August of 1944.
 
After World War II, the Rhône lost its title of "King of Rivers" that Frédéric Mistral had given to it. Due to an increase in circulation, however, this ancient communication route is once again regaining its importance.

Information   04 66 39 44 45
 
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