Fort Saint-André is a fortified enclosure established on Mount Andaon which dominates Villeneuve-lès-Avignon and the Rhône river (Gard department, Occitania, France).

In 1290, Philippe le Bel exchanged Maine and Anjou for a share of lordship in Avignon (Vaucluse department, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region).

To protect a strategic point on the border of the kingdom marked by the Rhône, he decided to build Villeneuve-lès-Avignon.

The foundation act, signed in 1292 with the abbot of Saint-André, plans to fortify access to the Avignon bridge. Between 1300 and 1307, the Philippe le Bel tower was built on the right bank of the river.

The fortification of Mount Andaon itself was undertaken under John II the Good. It must assert royal power against the lands of the Empire and the popes of Avignon.

The fort is also intended to protect the 10th century Benedictine abbey and the village of Saint-André, the existence of which, on Mount Andaon, has been documented since the 10th century.

The fort and the surrounding the abbey wall were built in several stages during the second half of the 14th century.

Fort Saint-André, as we know it today, had as its last architect Jean de Loubières, known as Jean de Louvres, the architect of the papal palace in Avignon. He completed the current construction on the orders of Charles V.

The Fort Saint-André is included as a monument historique by decrees of the 25 April 1903 and 14 November 1925.

The site is regularly open to the public for a fee, though it receives a fraction of the visitors at the nearby Palais des Papes.

Address: 57A Rue Mnt du Fort, 30400 Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, France

Working hours

Tuesday: 10 AM–1 PM, 2–5 PM

Wednesday: 10 AM–1 PM, 2–5 PM

Thursday: 10 AM–1 PM, 2–5 PM

Friday: 10 AM–1 PM, 2–5 PM

Saturday: 10 AM–1 PM, 2–5 PM

Sunday: 10 AM–1 PM, 2–5 PM

Monday: 10 AM–1 PM, 2–5 PM

Shortest distances by car

From Paris: 7 hr 3 min (689 km) via A6 and A7

From Toulouse: 3 hr 19 min (330 km) via A61 and A9

From Marseille: 1 hr 13 min (104 km) via A7

From Nice: 2 hr 47 min (263 km) via A8

From Monaco: 3 hr 4 min (286 km) via A8

From Andorra: 5 hr 6 min (457 km) via A61 and A9

See here France travel guide

See here Spain travel guide

See here Pyrenees travel guide

See here Andorra travel guide

Read more: Castles and fortresses of Spain and France with Mathew Kristes ...