Visit Villeneuve-les-Avignon (Languedoc-Roussillon, France)
Villeneuve-les-Avignon is in the Gard department at the eastern edge of Languedoc-Roussillon, on the border with Provence. Although many visitors rush straight for the better known sights at Avignon just across the river, you should allow time to also explore here when you visit.
The town originally developed around the 11th century Abbey of Saint-André, now included within the fortifications of Saint-André Fort, the castle that stands above Villeneuve-les-Avignon. The terraced abbey gardens are very nicely maintained and contain numerous statues and other ornaments.
There are also good views across Avignon from the fort, which is inscribed on the list of French National Monuments.
Although only a portion of the bridge now remains the town was once connected to Avignon by the famous pont d'Avignon (Pont St-Bénézet). You can climb the 14th century tower - the Tour Philippe le Bel - that once protected the bridge and get more good views across to the papal buildings of Avignon. This tower is the only remaining part of the fortifications that once surrounded the historic town.
The town itself also merits an explore as you climb to the castle. See especially the Chartreuse du Val-de-Benediction, constructed by Pope Innocent IV in the middle of the 14th century and featuring a church, some attractive (three!) cloisters, renowned frescoes by Matteo Giovannetti, and gardens. The mausoleum of Innocent IV is in the church at what was once of the most grand chartreuse ensembles ever to be built.
The 14th century gothic Collegial Notre-Dame Church in Villeneuve-lez-Avignon also has a cloister and some noteworthy art works.
There are various other medieval properties sprinkled through the town to admire as you pass, and the main square in Villeneuve-les-Avignon has plenty of places where you can stop at a cafe or restaurant.
At the Pierre de Luxembourg Museum (in a grand townhouse on Rue de la Rebublique) the speciality is sacred art. It is a highly regarded museum, with some interesting early works such as the 'Crowning of the Virgin' (see picture) by Enguerrand Quarton.
A couple of guided walks are recommended - the first around the fort and old town, the second along the Rhone - see the tourist office for a map.
The weekly markets in Villeneuve-les-Avignon take place on thursday and saturday mornings.
Visitors will of course want to visit Avignon and perhaps the roman ruins at nearby Orange. For somewhere a little more away from the main tourist attractions we recommend the historic village of Les Angles, in the south-western part of Villeneuve-les-Avignon, to see the village centre huddled around a pretty little gothic style church.
Photos taken within 10 km
Tourist classifications for Villeneuve-les-Avignon
Villeneuve-les-Avignon is classified as a historical protected town centre' (secteur sauvegardé)
Address: Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, Nîmes, Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon, 30400 || GPS: latitude 43.9672, longitude 4.79667
Map of Villeneuve-les-Avignon & places nearby
Highlights close by
See lots more places to visit nearby and a more detailed map at places near Villeneuve-les-Avignon.
See Languedoc-Roussillon and Gard (the region and department for Villeneuve-les-Avignon) for more travel ideas...
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Villeneuve-les-Avignon, France
- Fort Saint-Andre - national monument
- Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Repos de Montfavet (Avignon) - religious monument (2km)
- Avignon Centre - heritage site (2km)
- Avignon - secteur sauvegarde (3km)
- Jardin du château de Brantes - remarkable garden (8km)
- Jardin aquatique « Aux fleurs de l'eau - remarkable garden (13km)
- Orange Roman Theatre - heritage site (19km)
- Glanum - national monument (20km)
- Pont du Gard - grand site of france (21km)
- Pernes-les-Fontaines - recommended detour (21km)
Market days in Villeneuve-les-Avignon: Regular market(s) are held in Villeneuve-les-Avignon each Thursday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Villeneuve-les-Avignon (Francais)