The Town Hall is a truly imposing structure situated in the main square near the Palais des Papes. It is believed that, because Avignon was an extremely important city, especially as it was to Avignon that the Popes relocated during the schism, that the Hotel de Ville should reflect that importance in the light of its distinguished history.
The building houses a number of administrative offices but is also host to special exhibitions from time to time.
The square is lined with many restaurants, bars and cafes and is the perfect place for people watching whilst at the same time, viewing the Hotel de Ville.
The Parc Agricol Perdiguier is a raised garden which can be found in the Botanical Gardens. It is set among the ruins of an ancient gothic church. This provides an excellent phto opportunity and I found it to be a wonderfully colourful contrast to the starkness of such historical constructions such as the Palace of the Popes and the famous St Benezet Bridge.
A truly peaceful spot in an otherwise bustling city.
This tower is named after Nicolas le Besse, nephew of Clement VI, who at some point in his ecclesiastical career became known as Jean le Vieux. His mother died during the Black Plague and is buried in a chapel in the palace of the Popes.
The tower is situated in a lovely square with cafes all around for people wanting to sit and watch the world go by.
From Avignon you can do more than one trip in a day,if you just like to stroll round a place and sightsee. A car would be fine, but on one day i went from Avignon by train [ 08-16 ] to Arles journey time 22 minutes. After seeing the old centre of Arles arena etc, i took the bus to Nimes journey time one hour fare was a few euros.The bus in Arles leaves from the bus station in front of the rail station bus times are on screen in the RAIL stationAfter seeing Nimes i returned to Avignon early evening by train , journey time one hour. The coat of Arms of Nimes features a crocodile chained to a palm tree, this emblem is everywhere, in studs in pavement and on the safety poles on the side of roads.In my picture of the amphitheatre the little poles each has the emblem.
Although Le Mont Ventoux was interesting due to its association with the Tour de France the the unfortunate death of the British cyclist Tom Simpson - it was somewhat bleak up there - and a very strange landscape - devoid of all vegetation. For me on this day i think it was important that people were passing me - it woudl have been a strange experience beign up there alone.
However on the 3rd or 4th day - i cycled (no bus this time_ from Avignon to Gordes and back - and this trip really did live uo to expectations after reading about it in my Cicerone Guide (the little Brown Books to cycling and walking) - and seeing the beautiful pictures - but to actually cycle the Limestone Gorges on this tour was extremely breathtaking - you are instantly away how very tiny England is and our Limestone Escarpments are nothing to this - it was just "Wow" etc round every corner - the best was when i climbed out of Gordes - nothing prepared me for this - and on this day it was very special to be alone - Le. Mont Ventoux has been likened to the moon - but here wildlife is in abundance - huge birds soaring in the sky, sounds of nature everywhere.
So initially the travel to Gordes was a very very long "slog" (felt so long and hard - some distance) and i passed through a very beautiful village L'sle-sur-la-Sourge.
The first time i turned the corner and saw Gordes i was godsmacked - i have never seen anything so grand in my life before - and wondered if it was real.
I am not sure why but i have no Pictures of Gordes - maybe my battery was flat. Pity i could not have stayed here - i could easily have spent several hours here - but it was late in the day and i had to start heading (one of the disadvantages of cycle touring sometimes).
At another time though i guess i come back and tour with tents and luggage and camp nearby here one night.
A very Special Place indeed.
Do not get my wrong - L'Isle-sur-la-Sourge was a very nice too - and lots of Cafes and Restaurants by the canal - i stopped for lunch here.
I am sure Gordes is a World Heritage Site - and protected.
This and the Limestone Gorges around was the highlight of my tour - the longest day - and i thoroughly enjoyed this day - and demolished a Huge Pizza with Eggs on in Avignon when returned and as i began to eat it became night.
The Musee in the Petit Palais contains a few significant paintings that show how the progress of 15C work is expanding the presentation of reality. The Siennese and early Florentine painters are sources that we seldom get to study
This splendid palace was built in 1317 for Cardinal Arnaud de Via, nephew of Pope John XXII. It was redecorated in the late 15C. It has had many famous short time residents staying here. Ultimately it was sold to the locality and houses, most importantly, an Art Museum with an extensive accumulation of 13-15C paintings collected in the 19C and carefully placed here by Napoleon III. Among them are a small number of splendid works. Most of the works are early Siennese and Florentine, many more of these than any other place we have ever seen except in Siena.
The walls were constructed by Pope Innocent VI between 1.355 and 1.368. With a length of 4,8 kms., there are eight gates. One of them is Porte (Gate) du Rhône or du Rocher; from the 14th century, it was demolished in 1.760 to be reconstructed in 1.761. It is in front of Pont St-Bénézet (main pic). Other gates: Porte de la République (second pic) and Porte St. Charles (third pic)
The Place de l'Horloge is the very centre of Avignon life. On its west side the Theater and the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) built in 1.845) incorporating a 14th century clock-tower.
- Main: City Hall
- Second: Theatre
- Third: Clock Tower
If I say Pont Saint-Bénezet, maybe you don't what I am talking about, however, if I say just Pont d'Avignon, you probably will, mostly thanks to the famous song "Sur le Pont d'Avignon...".
It's a medieval bridge linking Avignon and Villeneuve-lès-Avignon on the left bank of the Rhòne river. Built between 1.171 and 1.185 with an original length of some 900 m. It suffered suffered frequent collapses during floods and had to be reconstructed several times.
A flood in 1.668 forced to be permanently abandoned.
The Palace of the Popes is a symbol of the church’s influence throughout the western Christian world in the 14th century. The construction began in 1.335 and was finished in less than twenty years under the leadership of two Popes, Benedict XII and his successor Clement VI. The Popes’ Palace is the biggest Gothic palace in Europe.
- Fax : (+33) (0)4 90 86 36 12
The Rhône River is a main feature of Avignon. The famous bridge of Avignon once spanned across the river. The river connects many french towns and was an important trade route. The river is pretty and looks clean. It was nice to take a stroll by the rier and admire the city and its views.
An excellent way to see and learn about Avignon is to take a short boat ride on the Rhone. The excursions last one or two hours. You'll enjoy nice views of the Papal Palace and the bridge of Saint Benezet.
The Avignon Office de Tourisme is at 41, Cours Jean Jaures (which leads directly from Avignon Centre station to the town).
It's worth seeking it out, and popping in. As with all such offices, they'll give you a map of the town but, more importantly, they'll also give you an 'Avignon Pass'. This is a little booklet which gives reduced entrance to many of the places you might want to visit: the Pont d'Avignon, Plais des Papes etc.
April to October :
Monday to Saturday
9am - 5pm.
Sunday and bank holidays 9:45am - 5pm
Monday to Saturday 9am - 7pm
Sunday and bank holidays 9:45am - 5pm
November to March :
Monday to Friday 9am - 6pm.
Saturday 9am - 5pm.
Sunday 10am - 12am
This building houses an impressive collection of sculpture and paintings predominantly religious in nature. The majority of works are italian and date to the 13th Century. The building itself dates to the 14th Century. The single most important work to be seen here is "Virgin and Child" by the Renaissance master, Sandro Botticelli.
Note: Though I am not Christain, it is interesting to note the different styles of medieval artists leading up to the flowering of the epoch we call the Rennaisance.
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