Rue des Teinturiers
You can see here “Our Lady of the winemakers”.
From rue de la Bonneterie, walk across rue des Teinturiers to go to rue du 58e Régiment d’Infanterie and to the Ramparts Limbert.
It’s one of the most picturesque streets of Avignon, sometimes called “rue des Roues” (waterwheels) by some of the inhabitants. The street follows the small river “la Sorguette”, which was feeding the watermills required by the silk industry. Four watermills are still visible.
At the end of the XIVth century, it was called rue du Portail Imbert (Imbert gate) after the first ramparts built there, then rue de Nazareth after the hospital “Our Lady of Nazareth” maintained by monks between 1608 and 1640.
At the end of the XVIIIth century, it became “rue des Pénitents gris” (Grey penitents) thanks to their religious brotherhood founded during the XIIIth century. At that time, the city had adopted the Albigensian heresy, but had capitulated to the king of France after a three month siege. Louis VIII himself came to Avignon. On the 14th of September 1226, dressed in a coarse garment, a rope around his neck, his head covered with ashes, a torch in hand, he went on an expiatory procession to the Holy Cross Chapel outside the walls.
The Brotherhood of the Grey Penitents, who flogged themselves every Friday, was founded in memory of this event. Later, they called themselves “The Flogged” or "The Beaten of the Cross”.
Then, until 1843, the street was called “du Cheval blanc” (White horse) after an inn sign. Finally, it took the name of “Teinturiers” (dyers) to remember the textile activities conducted here centuries ago.