Chartreuse du Val de Bénédiction, Villeneuve lès Avignon

Chartreuse du Val de Bénédiction (Episode 18 the four Horsemen, 19 The Citadel, 20 Princess and Rebirth 24) Episode 23 Handmaiden, the seat of the emperor is moved to Senanque).

The Carthusian monastery of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, founded in the 14th century by Pope Innocent VI, was inhabited by monks from the order of Carthusians until the 18th century. Nowadays the Center

national des écritures du spectacle (CNES) is located there. The complex covers 2 hectares of open and closed space: the church with the cloister garden, cells and medicinal plants, the laundry room

and the rose garden, the chapel with frescoes by Matteo Giovanetti and the mausoleum of the founder.


Audiences and artists meet each other in summer at the 'summer garden restaurant', arranged in gardens and on the shaded terrace overlooking

the roofs of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, or in the 'winter garden café', around an 18th-century fireplace.


The Val-de-Bénédiction Charterhouse is worth a tour. Once through the cloister gate, walk towards the main nave of the church which affords a superb view of Fort St-André. Visit the small cloister, the chapter

house, the sextons' courtyard and the lavabo (circular building), then walk to the large cemetery cloister (20m wide and 80m long) The monks' cells; one of these can be visited. Don't miss the frescoes decorating

the chapel. A beautiful blog tells you a lot more about the historie of this special place. The exterior of the 'Citadel ' is Fort St André and when they enter they are in Chartreuse well.

The photos above and below, do have the same view (with Fort Saint Andre in the back of me).



Visit of the sacret well

To make sure Matthew is there, Tell visits the citadel during the 5 days feast of St. Verseau. All days the gates of the fort are open for the sick to visit the sacred well. Many pilgrims go there.

Tell went in at the first day when the Crownprince, Prince Martin and the Princess (and Matthew) to drink the water. At the last day the emperor showed up. That's the day they need to get Matthew out.

Then he sees his son for the first time after the apple incident.

Episode 18 the four Horsemen, 19 The Citadel, 20 Princess and 24 Rebirth (episode 23 handmaiden, the seat of the emperor is moved to Senanque)

With special thanks to C. Petit who made this beautiful collage above! And searches a lot for this websiteto to discover new locations.

He did it with the same passion as we have. We share the passion for the beautiful places in France.



The Four Horsemen

Episode 18

Tell and the four horsemen are riding to the citadel (Saint-André and Chartreuse well) to free Matthew. Here the site starts with the well in

Villeneuve-Lès-Avignon. Below he sees his son for the first time after the apple incident. (Number 1 on the map).

1986                                                                                                           2014     





George Mihalka on cameralift during the shooting of Crossbow 1986                                                            2014   



   Below: See the beautiful ancient water extraction process going on in the old well. The large photo on the right is made by us in 2014.


                 The alley of the monks chambers, around the well


The old rooms of the monks in these galleries attached to the well


The windows in the background of the well, there are the galleries you see above

The well        

1986                                                                                                                            2015          


Behind the scenes                                                                                                                                            



                                                         Behind the scenes 1987                                             A tunnel behind the well is not always open to the public.





A chronilogical add of the well in the charterhouse

Tell comes back at the well to free his son (later in this story)

The tension is getting to a higher level. The Emperor is almost going to bring out the toast. Matthew, who doesn't know his father is around,

seems to recognize his father! But one of the horsemen stays close to Matthew to get him.



The recognition

Matthew sees his father (number 1 on the map)


Tell walks in disguise towards the Emperor. Matthew is nervous.




Tell comes for his son

The Emperor brings out the toast on the last day of the feast. Then Tell strikes but the plan doesn't work out and Matthew and Tell are arrested. And again he and his son are in serious danger.



Scene: Tell suddenly shows up and points his bow to the Emperor. "I come for my son."

One of the four horsemen, who earlier is recognized by Horst, made a deal with Gessler and brings the other horsemen, Matthew and Tell in danger.


Everyone seems shocked...

Tell came so far and is furious and throws his helmet off.                                                                                                                     1987                                                             2018



Opedde le Vieux combined with the Charterhouse Avignon

There is a large open square in the centre of Oppede-le-Vieux, surrounded by interesting buildings such as the ancient market hall as well as two cafes. The pleasure of a visit to Oppède-le-Vieux comes from

simply ambling along the streets and cobbled alleys, admiring the ancient houses and Provencal architectural details such as the bell and campanile on the old stone tower and the archway and parts of the original

ramparts. The ruines of Opèdde le vieux  The view on the horsemen castle. It took us a long time to verify this shot because we were looking for a whole tower and the main chateau tower (you see on many

pictures and postcards) didn't correspond. By the way, we didn't know It was already so much damaged (It was hidden behind a tree (see the left photo below). While we recognized the tour, later we found out there

is also a shot made from the Moor in front of this ruined tower). This plateau with ruines of a chateau is closed to the public nowadays. Below shots of the same ruine, but I never recognized it because in the

Moor it seems an intact castle because the tree is in front. It seems intact. But in fact it isn't. here below in the Moor you can see how bad the castle is.


To compare: this place is where episode 16 The Moor 1 and 17 The Moor 2 are recorded. More about this later. The Castle of the four horsemen is South of the plateau. Here a little bit information about

this beautiful town with the exterior of The four horsemen castle, (episode 18) with it's unique old door. (interior is Chartreuse Avignon) Opèdde le vieux part one, click here for part 2, the

episodes of the Moor (episode 16 and 17). 


Below (right) the side of the old chateau (on the North side) that didn't correspondent with the shot of Crossbow. You see this tower on many postcards and online photos. 

To see the tower of Crossbow you better look at the other side of the plateau and chateau. The South!



In fact Stefan and Tell don't go to that ruined chateau. Nowadays It's closed for the public because It's too dangerous...falling rocks and high cliffs. But the church, Eglise d' Alidon (left photo and right side of it)

is restaurated and open to the public. This church do Tell and Stefan visit. This door with a celtic cross on it is in that church and still the same impressive door. The place where the knife and axe are thrown in.

In the time Crossbow was filmed the church was almost destroyed. They couldn't film inside this old church so they filmed the interior scenes in the church of Val de Benediction Villeneuve lès Avignon.


Pictures below are in front of the church on top of Opèdde le Vieux. So this rock has two different exterior shots of the Four horsemen castle. It's kind of chaotic but true. Eglise d' Alidon were the shots low so

you couldn't see the recognizable rounded tower of it. The door isn't on Google because on the photos of internet the door is always dark and shadowed because of the pillars at both side of the entrance.

If I didn't join my husband to this village, I should never have found out. I just walked around and walked in that door I looked for a long time! Great experience, such an ancient huge door, so hard to

find too. The door is sheltered by the pillars so I hope It will be there for a long time!

                      1986                                                                                        1986                                                                           2015


From the distant castle ruine shot, an 100 yards away, changing doors and places to Eglise d' Alidon. Left photos below.

But more confusion! Right below the churchdoor of Chartreuse du Benediction in Villeneuve les Avignon. l'Eglise d'Alidon was damaged so they needed to enter the different space with huge door too below.

It's well shot so you don't see it happen when they enter St Mary's church, Chartreuse de Avignon.


Above: the photo we took in 2015. They put the knives and axe in the natural holes of the wood. The same woodcarves are still there. Middle below is taken by us in 2015, since Crossbow they restaurated

the pillar walls next the door also the interior and the path to the church (4 photo rows lower you can see the other back and front of the other door, the door of St. Mary's church). Nobody will notice..

                                                                                                                2015                                                                            1986    


1986 the path to the castle of the horsemen and the path they took all back to the citadel. Such paths are in opedde le vieux, but could be elsewhere. The door with the celtic cross and the knives

in it is Opedde le Vieux. They arrive in eglise Opèdde le Vieux eglise d'Alidon and they are really entering the church in Villeneuve-Lès-Avignon. The door has not the same size and same wood inscription.

It stroke us when we were there and didn't recognise the interior of eglise d Álidon. This was in a bad condition around 1986 and is nowadays restored, also the path to the church is renovated.

The church is also a small museum for archeological finds of the area.


                                                         From Opedde to St Andre.                                                                                              Arrival at fort St. Andre: The Citadel                                    


Opèdde le Vieux a unique mountain village in the Luberon. The village is not for cars accessible. On the former agricultural terraces are a car park and garden called St. Cécile. There grow 80 rural types of herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees of the Luberon. In Oppède-le-Vieux is a trip back in time!
The houses from the middle ages and the Renaissance, the 12th-century Church, the ruins of the medieval castle, the washing areas and the chapels of Saint-Laurent and Saint-Antonin together to create a timeless atmosphere. The climb through the ascending streets up to the top is rewarded with a panoramic view of 360 °. Cycling and nature trails traversing the village, an ideal place for a break for a drink on the square. Sights: the church Notre-Dame de Dolidon (or Alidon), located at the top of the ruins (Tower and walls) of a medieval castle and the remains of old workshops. During a walk through the old village you can visit the remains of the fortifications. The Saint-Augustin Mill is open to lovers of olive oil.


St. Mary's church Villeneuve-Lès-Avignon

Below: You see eglise Chartreuse de Benediction in Avignon. Here you see the door from the inside and the door from the front. It's suddenly changed from Notre Dame d'Alidon to eglise Chartreuse in Villeneuve-Lès-Avignon. Notre Dame d'Alidon was around 1986 to much damaged.

    1986 here they are standing inside in Vileneuve les Avignon !      2014  The door from the outside they've hidden in Crossbow 2014 (Door with Celtic  Cross is in Opedde!)


So they filmed the exterior of  the church and the exterior side of the door in Opedde le Vieux. The interior of the church of the Charterhouse in Villeneuve les Avignon..


They step into the St. Mary's church of Villeneuve-Lès-Avignon (number 6 and 7 on the map), the exterior is in Oppedde le Vieux, a different door with a cross

    1986                                                                        2014                                                                        1986          


Tell has to proof he can be trusted but in fact they can not be trusted. Tell comes through and sees them through. They go and ride with him to the citadel. There one of the 4 horsemen is varable and is discovered by Gessler and later becomes a renegade.

1986/87 St. Mary's church (photo left and middle. (Crossbow did the shots in this church finally) 

The picture on the right: this is the restaurated interior of eglise d'Alidon in Opèdde, made by us in 2014. It was to damaged in 1986 to film in.


Right: The church d 'Alidon at Opedde they couldn't film in. At 2016 It is almost renovated, but around 1987 It was ruined. They decided to make shots from the exterior.

Left: St. Mary's church of Villeneuve-Lès-Avignon (Crossbow shot here 'The Four horsemen')


Above and below two scenes from different sides in St. Mary's church (number 6 and 7 on the map) .

                                                1986                                                                                                   2018


They are not happy to see Tell, Tell has to do some trials.  They blame Tell he left the horsemen. Mutino shows the scar that he just survived without the help of Tell. Tell said they were damaging a monastery, that's why he left. The horsemen let Tell do some trials to get back the trust, but these trials are not fair at all.


The different angles of this church



From the church there is a beautiful view on the fort Saint André on the hilltop in Villeneuve les Avignon.




Fort Saint-André Avignon


Tell, dressed like a pilgrim, will visit the Citadel to make sure his son is in there. Stefan supports him.


1986                                                                                                                                                 2014   


   Tell saw his son was in the citadel, they get help from old 'friends' (the four horsemen) to get Matthew out.

The paths in front of the fort


Back again at fort St. André.....wishing eachother good luck and go in as pilgrims.


There they go to the Citadel on the last day of the festival, the Emperor himself will be present.

These three evening photos of St Andre below are Copyright of Eline

My girl just fits through the bars of the gate. So in the evening she had a nice walk through the castle.

These three nightshot photos are copyright, my children are on it


                 1986                                                                                                    2014                     


Shot to compare! To free Matthew they need the help of the four horsemen, (right below: suddenly a shot taken from St Andre of both brothers Brimble, episode Physician.

                                                          1986                                                                                                            2014                                                     




  The stairs, the entrance of Saint-André

(Together with location Chartreuse well-Saint John's cloister (next to this Fort) Those two places form the Citadel)

The pilgrims entering the citadel fort Saint-André


Weapons hidden in walkingsticks. No problem to enter, but the guard doesn't trust the 'blind' man Tell. He sends Horst after him to keep an eye on him.


More about the gate, stairs and the tower below in the second gallery of Avignon

The map again to point the numbers


The room of Prins Martin at little cloister, Chapterhouse

(number 5 on the map) Chartreuse Les Avignon

Matthew keeps prince Martin waiting and that results in a quarrel. Matthew tells him that without him the prince hasn't a friend. 

Location: The same room Gessler visits the Princess with a rose and where the emperor sits under the ornament.

Right below: Photo in opposite of the room shot, but with the same courtyard. The lower wall in the door is a fake wall, I don't know why they did that, perhaps to make it look like a castle not an abbaye? That's guessing...


Above in Crossbow they made a a kind of fake wall, I don't know what the reason was.



                                                                                                           A room attached to the Charterhouse



Little Cloistre in Villeneuve les Avignon is also the place Tell misses his wife (episode 24 Rebirth) and Matthew leaves Tell.

                      1986                                                                                             1986                                                                         2014 


Cypres trees and bushes are the same after 30 years

          1986                                                                                                                           2018                                 


                                            1986                                         Matthew leaves his dad                                    2014                                     


The room of princess and Prince Martin is attached to this Petit Cloistre. You can see one of the two doors open with the ornaments on the wall.   


                The door from the room of the Princess (charterhouse) to the Petit Cloiste, Villeneuve les Avignon  

Seen from the 'ornament' room        Seen from the gallery in front of the órnament room            Looking from the outside into the room                     


The two ornaments on the left (on the floor didn't seems to be there around 1987)

The room of the Princess, a short seat of the Emperor (during the storming of the tower. Plus in front of this room Prince Martin is mad at his granddad the emperor about the storming of the tower, a discussion about caring about people) and the room where Prince Martin has lessons about the horses of the Apocalypse.


                                      Gessler enters the left door from the Petit Cloistre. he comes from the courtyard of the Petit Cloistre (garden).


            1986                                                                                               2014                  


This two doors of the Chapterhouse (5) are attached to the cloistre Jardin (4). This side has the beautiful ornaments on the wall.  Right of the huge brown painting is the enormous ornament on the wall.






Above (middle picture) One room is open en that's the room with the ornaments on the walls. If you take a good look you can see them hanging on the wall. Above teacher of Prince Martin in front of the ornament.

The curtain is in front of the huge window (all pictures below)


The Chapterhouse also the room prins Martin takes lessons, the room of the prinses and one of the seats of the Emperor.  They used the four angles of this beautiful room.  Matthew daydreaming. Matthew hears the lesson of Prins Martin about the legend of the four horsemen, without knowing Tell is on his way.


During the lessons of Prince Martin Matthew accompanied about the four horsemen of the Apocalyps, Matthew dreams of his father to free him. His father is on his way on his white horse, all together they are the 4 horsemen. Ironic or not one of them betrays them all.


The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are described in the last book of the New Testament of the Bible, called the Book of Revelation of Jesus Christ to John of Patmos, at 6:1-8. The chapter tells of a book or scroll in God's right hand that is sealed with seven seals. The Lamb of God opens the first four of the seven seals, which summons four beings that ride out on white, red, black, and pale horses.

Though theologians and popular culture differ on the first Horseman, the four riders are often seen as symbolizing Conquest or Pestilence (and less frequently, the Christ or the Antichrist), War, Famine, and Death. The Christian apocalyptic vision is that the Four Horsemen are to set a divine apocalypse upon the world as harbingers of the Last Judgment. One reading ties the Four Horsemen to the history of the Roman Empire subsequent to the era in which the Book of Revelation was written. That is, they are a symbolic prophecy of the subsequent history of the Empire.

Each color of the horses and It's meaning is here to read


Tell and Stefan with the four horsemen on their way to the citadel to free Matthew.

Location of this field? No idea...near Opedde or near Avignon?

The icon and ornament are always there. The tapestry we also see when gessler talks to the Princess. This room has two doors on the same side, the Petit cloistre. This cloistre is behind the door Matthew sits

More of the Chapterhouse (5 on the map) Salle de Capitulaire





 1986                                                                              2014                                                                         

     Attached room to the Petit cloistre in the Charterhouse


Left: petit cloistre (4) Chartreuse Avignon and right below the courtyard Boxwood hedge of Senanque. Gessler askes permission of Prince Ignatius to marry the Princess.

Note: Senanque, those pillars are smaller. More about Senanque.


A few episodes later; wintershots of episode 23 Handmaiden in Senanque


Episode 'The Princess' and 'The Citadel' in Villeneuve les Avignon


                                                 1987                                                                                       2018



Matthew left Tell but in the same episode they reunite (right photo).  

1987                                                              2014                                                            1987 



Petit Cloiste St John Charterhouse Villeneuve les Avignon

1985                                                                                                            2018         


Below a closer photo and here a double location. In the back you can see through the open door the church of the 4 horsemen.


Above the Little Cloistre again (4) The right picture, a few episodes further (ep. 24) Same place. There is more about it further down on this page.

This is all filmed in the particulair room in Chartreuse Val Du Benediction from all kind of angles with It's courtyard attached.            

                                                                      1986                                                                                                                                             2014                                                             


                                                                           1986                                                                         2014



           Scene: Emperor: "News? Prince Martin: "Gessler got his soldiers in but It didn't work." Emperor: "No matter! They will storm it in the morning." Prince Martin: "don't you care about anyone?"

Emperor: "care? care? One day you will be as I now." Prince Martin realizes the consequences of the decisions of the Emperor and shouts while running away: "I never wanna be like you!".

But the theEmperor wispers: "There is no escape!"      


 Location change! Beauregard exterior. Middle and right is Porte Rouge Street (number 2 on the map, It lies only a few meters from the Great Cloister).


Great Cloister

The old cemetery field (number 3 on the map)


Long before it once was a cemetery. Below as garden de mediterain around 1983, just before Crossbow filmed.

Prince Martin and Matthew

Prins Martin, who was present at the banquet, felt compassion with Matthew Tell. He took Matthew to the citadel. They spend much time together. (exterior exterior Chartreuse du Val de Bénédiction).


                    Matthew and Prince Martin amuse themselves with Jeu de boules and learning to fight.                                                Matthew teaches Prins Martin how to use a sword.        



The Carthusian monastery - church of Villeneuve-les-Avignon


The Carthusian monastery or charter house known as la Chartreuse du Val-de-Bénédiction was founded in 1300's by Pope Innocent VI. It is among the biggest and most remarkable charterhouses

in France with its church, three cloisters, forty cells, gardens and chapel painted with frescoes by Matteo Giovanetti, the famous artist who also embellished the Palace of the Popes. 


It's mission is now to host playwrights and drama groups in order to allow them to pursue their creative work and research. It is also a venue for innovative performances especially during the

Festival d'Avignon. This church you can see in the back of Prince Martin and Matthew.


This interior wasn't in Crossbow, but the exterior was. When Matthew is on number 3 below on the map you see the exterior of this church. Some photos of this beautiful frescoes.



1986  France can be proud of their monuments. They are all treasures.    2018 Nothing hanged at all, only the right cypress tree has grown.        



               1986                                                                                                              2014                                                                                                           2014


Above: This field is the old cemetery cloister of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon.

The beautiful view on the hill with the impressive Fort Saint-André.                                                                                                                                               


Scene: Gessler arrived and brought Prince Martin a present. Gessler asked Prince Martin if he remembered the last time..(Prince Martin is not very fond of Gessler and remember the apple incident very well).

Before Gessler can continue his story Prince Martin said: 'I remember!' Then Matthew showed up and said in anger: 'so do I.. and It's something I'm never going to forget.'



Cloîster Saint Jean - The Chartreuse well



Horst catches 1 of the 4 horsemen

The gardens of Fort Saint Andre


                                                                                                                                                                                               The tree a left of Horst is the big one. Photo taken in opposite.



                   1986   These trees are grown in width, not much in heigth. The Mistral wind can blow hard here.  2014


The wolf in sheepclothing   

Gessler reveals his feelings about women, but Horst gets distracted by a face he has seen before, travelling in disguise.


1986                                                                                                           2018



                                                                                 The place seen from the opposite side                                                                          Located here, at the low castle wall                                                                                                 



The hideout of the 4 horsemen found in 2018

It's in the Monastery of St. Andre, south east in the gardens of St André. It's forbidden to enter. 

    The silhouet of  Mont Ventoux in the back                                                                                                                                                                                                                 



And the question it really in here of not?           

Inside it looks like a chapel.                             The exterior is here for sure                                                                                                                                                                    


The photo below is made in 2014 in the garden of Fort Saint-André, there are many places like this in the garden of the fort. There are two small chapels. One is Chapelle Notre dame Belvezet, this

interior doesn't correspondent with the chapel, but in the north east of the gardens there is another one behind the chapel not open to the public. I never have seen  photos of the interior.



The 'window' above Tell is on the middle photo but above it covered with leaves, so the wall is not recognizable around the window. We throught a long time, it was a kind of a chapel in a forest...

Last summer, me and a fan heard about our holiday plans and coincidently we went the same days to Avignon. We met up in Saint Andre and they invited me to a picnic with his family. We enjoyed

walking the gardens, talked a lot about the beauty of the surroundings and looked for this missing place. Just before I left I found the place.

1986 Tell                                                                                     2018                                                                                   2018

Tell walked between the narrow walls and just below the ridge the stairs are leading to.


Interior shot

                 At the last moment the exterior of the hideout is found. But the inside is still a guess... here we see the only glimpse of the inside. Looks like the same door 2018

The bows of the ceiling could be never can be sure if the hideout interior is also situated here.... But if you look on the photo in the middle (above you see a glimp of the interior).


The back of the hidout building

If you look at the old fireplace pillars (photo in the middle) then you can see almost the same of them inside in much better state (left of the four horsemen on this picture).


The right picture is made in Villeneuve les Avignon, almost seems the same kind of architecture. It can be nearby.


The smuggle and the drawn map

Together they smuggled parts of weapons inside and make a plan. They succeeded in smuggling the weapons inside the citadel. And again the map in Crossbow seems pretty

realistic drawn. It's St. Andre, with the tower on the left. But the place he pierced is in the abbey and I went there for a painting gallery and didn't recognize it. It's just a chosen place

on the map. The place they hide is where his little finger is. If this map represented the map of  Fort St. Andre, than it must be inside the old monastery on this terrain. But the map is a bit different.

But you can witnsess the two huge towers of fort  St. Andre on the right, the monastery and the and the detached buildings in the garden.



                             A nice little source in front of the Hideout                                                              Seen from the garden terraces                          



The olive trees of fort St Andre

   2014  looking to the castle side                                  Both views                                            2018 looking west



                       2014                                                                                                     1986 episode Handmaiden                                                                                     1986 Physician            



    Episode Handmaiden                                       Many of those small olive trees shaped by the mistral winds.                                                                                                                  



Below more episodes in this field

To Compare: This place to other shots and episodes:

      1986                                                                                                               2014                                                                                                  1986          

Shot to compare. To free Matthew, they needed the help of the the four horsemen. Right: The same place; a shot taken from St. Andre of both brothers Brimble, episode Physician.


Same episode so many places 

               Handmaiden shot, olive trees in front of fort St. Andre.


                                Pinetrees field at Frigolet                                                                                      Shot around Frigolet


Roque Canine, east of Boulbon 

The Princess is locked up and sends the maid to a messenger to look for Tell and Matthew. The messenger travels through the mountains to

look for Matthew and Tellto bring the message from the Princess. Handmaiden episode 23.


Messenger: 'She wants to meet with the young lad. I brought this. She will be waiting for you in the ruins of Hellbourg Castle (Castle Boulbon) What do I might to tell her?"

Matthew convinced his father to go. But what the maid, Tell and Matthew don't know is that Horst has followed the maid and places a trap in Boulbon castle.

More about Castle Boulbon here


               1986                                                           The pass I found while walking a trail            2014


                  1988                 St. André Garden                Made in 2015, at 2018 the castle wall has a fence.


Scene with the Emperor: "The princess and maid may live but her punishment for her disobedience is a marriage to Gessler."  

Shot of the emperor in Senanque

From Avignon to the abbey of Senanque. For the abbey of Senanque you can click here. Changing so many location makes it look nicer but for tracking down the locations it's pretty confusing.

Scene: The Emperor wants Tell free. Gessler puts a stop to it by poisening the Emperor. Gessler could go on hunting Tell and kills Tell's wife. (Episode 24). The last episode of season 1.