Chapelle Saint-Nicolas (2000)

The Saint Nicholas Chapel on Pont Saint-Bénézet, the Avignon Bridge. The original 12th-century structure held the relics of Saint Bénézet, the young shepherd reputedly charged by Jesus to build the bridge. The chapel received a series of additions and updates in the 13th, 15th, and 16th centuries. Bénézet’s relics were moved to another chapel inside the Avignon city wall after a flood destroyed the bridge in the 17th century.

The chapel was a favorite place of worship for boatmen on the Rhône, whose patron saint was Nicholas of Myra. (Yes, that’s the “jolly old Saint Nicholas” who gained a lot of weight in the 19th century and became the patron saint of year-end commerce.)

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