Inseparable from Avignon, Villeneuve-lez-Avignon offers a unique view of the Popes city. The Rhone river is a natural and historic border. In the Middle Ages, Avignon was the domain of the popes and the church, and facing Avignon, Villeneuve belonged to the kingdom of France. Philippe-le-Bel was therefore very interested in this strategic city and built a tower at the end of the Saint-Benezet bridge, ensuring close supervision to the papal lands. In the 14th century, cardinals feeling cramped in Avignon and wishing to "go green", look to the new Philippe le Bel city to build their palaces, there are 15 of them, and ensure the prosperity of this city until the French revolution. Many chapels, cloisters, mansions and monuments give a great charm to Villeneuve-lez-Avignon which is a must getaway.
La Val de bénédiction Carthusian monastery : founded by Pope Innocent VI in the fourteenth century, it is the largest Carthusian monastery in France. It spreads on an area twice as big as that of the pope palace ! The visit allows to admire its very harmonious architecture, its three beautiful cloisters, and enter the intimacy of the Carthusian monks through the visit of the cells and the old refectory. There is also the mausoleum of Pope Innocent VI and frescoes attributed to Giovannetti, to whom we owe those of the pope Palace in Avignon.
The Fort Saint-André : built on Mount Andaon, it is one of the finest examples of medieval fortification. Built on the orders of the king of France Philippe le Bel, this construction allowed to assert the authority of the kingdom of France against the territory of the popes. The entrance to the fort is through the twin towers ; the sight from the summit embraces the entire region.
The gardens of the Saint-André abbey : located in the fort enclosure , the ancient abbey was founded in the tenth century by the Benedictine order and largely destroyed during the French Revolution. Private property for over a hundred years, you can visit the nice Italian gardens , with beautiful views of Avignon and the surrounding countryside. One can have a drink on the pleasant terrace. It is an enchanting place that is absolutely worth a detour.
The Philippe le Bel tower : Built by Philip le Bel, as its name suggests, it was a check point of the Saint-Benezet bridge and allowed to collect tolls for the passage from Avignon to Villeneuve. Only the inhabitants of the latter were exempt. You can access the summit after climbing the 172 steps. The view on Avignon and the Rhône river is impressive.
In July, alongside theAvignon festival, Villeneuve has created its own theatrical and musical festival "Villeneuve stage"