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.
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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 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 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
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
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.
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.
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 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.
This museum, located in a former 17th Century Jesuit College, houses a local collection of antiquities from Egypt, Greece and Rome as well as numerous local peices. One particular item of interest is this rather large Roman Funerary Stela depicting a wagon (see picture).
This museum in a former mansion houses a large collection of sculptures, silverware and a good collection of paintings dating to the 16th Century. One can see both french and foreign works by artists such as Corot, Joseph Vernet and a couple of large canvases by Pieter Bruegel the Younger and his brother Jan.
Sorry, no photos.
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.
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.
I was in Avignon for a week...and did nothing but walk from my hotel around the city.
It was an easy city to get absorbed into quickly. The centermost part of town had a massive antique carousel...with cafes lined up and down the area. Around the side streets were excellent shops...with good prices...along with artists along the way, where I bought 2 paintings.
There was plenty of tourist attractions...castles, bridges, the lot...it was a fabulous city. The city was clean...and the people were hospitable and nice the entire time...which makes for a pleasant visit.
If you're looking for a great place to visit in France...I would highly recommend this town.
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.
Great location just inside the city walls. This hotel has all the creature comforts without being...more
€ 53,36/ 350 FF per night, with shower. (2001) I'm sure we paid much less in the early 90s and...more
Small hotel type marries family, managed by the proprietary marriage, who they have decorated it in...more