Palais des Papes, Avignon

4 out of 5 stars 4 Stars - 49 Reviews

Place du Palais 04 90 27 50 73

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    Palais des Papes, Avignon
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    Hand hewn stone cannonballs, Palais des...
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  • sirgaw's Profile Photo

    Palais des Papes - amazing history

    by sirgaw Updated Dec 19, 2009

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    The UNESCO World Heritage Listed building is touted as the largest Gothic Palace in Europe is huge and was home to 7 Popes during the 14th century when Italy was at war.

    There are some 25 rooms and halls open to the public and it is suggested at least 4 hours visiting time. Disability access is very limited

    A combined entrance fee to both the Papal Palace and the Bridge of Avignon is available - cost in high season 11.50 € or 9 € for seniors - audio guide (a must) included.

    Photo 1 is the exterior of the palace taken close to sunset.
    Photo 2 is the inside of the cooks chimney, where no doubt there were many sides of various creatures roasted.

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  • cjg1's Profile Photo

    Palace of the Popes

    by cjg1 Updated Apr 9, 2009

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    At one point in time Avignon was the papal seat of Roman Catholicism. I am not a Actholic but Liz is well versed in her Roman Catholic History especially as it pertains to Avignon. The best way to describe the Palace is that it looks like a fortress. The buildings are massive and look down onto the square below. The Gothic Towers of the palace are quite impressive. Inside the palace is huge with high vaulted ceilings and beautiful stone and artwork throughout. The stone paintings of the palace's chapels are beautiful and still look vibrant thats to the care and restoration provided to this site.

    I was glad to have come to see the Palace and wander through it's corridors, halls and stairways. The Palace tour with audioguide was 10.50 Euros each but was definitely worth it.

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    The Papal Palace

    by Tom_Fields Written Jan 4, 2009

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    The heavily fortified Papal Palace
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    The first thing you'll notice about this great palace is its fortress-like appearance. It was meant to protect the Pope, who was guarded by a military garrison. In the 1304, Pope Clement V moved here for security, rather than go to Rome for his consecration. Seven Popes lived here. But in 1377, at the behest of St. Catherine of Siena and others, Pope Gregory XI moved back to Rome.

    Afterward, the Church retained control of this palace. During the Revolution, this palace was ransacked by mobs and much of the original furniture and artwork was destroyed or taken. In 1810, it was made into a French army barracks.

    But in 1969, the city began to restore the palace. It's one of southern France's most popular tourist attractions.

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  • kenyneo's Profile Photo

    The Palace of the Popes

    by kenyneo Updated May 11, 2008

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    Hey this is such a holy place and because of my artistic photography skill , I have turned it to the two legendary con bra for Madonna , so say VTer Norali ...not sure if I should feel proud to be compared to Jean Paul Gautier or should blush like a lobster ..hehehe....anyway this an interesting place that you should not miss because they moved from here to the Vatican City ...

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    Palais des Papes

    by MM212 Updated Jul 11, 2007

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    Le Palais des Papes was the seat of the Catholic church and the Pope for a good part of the 14th century. Troubles in Rome had led the newly elected Pope Clement V in 1309 to move the seat of the church from Rome to his home city Avignon, which saw seven Popes lead the church from here before moving back to Rome in 1377. At first, the pope used the Palais Episcopal, which existed on the site before Pope Benoit XII ordered the construction of a new palace in 1334. Le Palais des Papes was constructed in two stages. The older part is now referred to as Palais Vieux, and the newer part, built two decades later, is Palais Neuf. After the 14th century, the Palais was neglected and at times used as a prison. It is now a museum and has been listed as a world heritage site by the UNESCO.

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  • roamer61's Profile Photo

    Palais de Papes (Palace of the Popes)

    by roamer61 Updated May 31, 2007

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    It was the Great Schism that forced the popes to flee here. It was Clement V, who first moved in in 1309, ushering a marvelous century, only interrupted by the Black Death during the middle of the century.

    This is the most prominent monument in Avignon. Pope Benedict XII had much of the pre-existing palace transformed into the mighty fortress we see today. It took 30 years to build. Though most of the rooms and chambers are empty, it is not hard to imagine the granduer of the place during its heyday in the 14th Century. In some of the rooms, one can still see some wonderful frescoes from the mid 14th Century.

    An audioguide is available in different languages.

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    A Vertical Building

    by grandmaR Updated Feb 18, 2007

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    Courtyard
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    We visited the Pope's Palace in 1964. This one photo of the courtyard was the only one I took that was in the horizontal orientaion. So to see the other (vertically oriented) photos of the entrance gate, door archway, clifflike walls and Indulgence Window, you need to click on the other photos.

    This is the biggest Gothic palace in all of Europe. It was built in the 14th century and was completed in only 20 years by popes Benedict XII and Clement VI when Avignon was the seat of the papacy.

    At the time we visited, Avignon was not very well known and was off the normal tourist track. Thirty-some years after our visit, UNESCO designated it a "World Heritage for Humanity" site. Now, the Popes’ Palace is one of the most visited monuments in all of France

    The first picture shows one of the courtyards. The walls of the Popes’ Palace are flanked by four towers - some of which are 170 feet tall (photo 2 and 5). From the Great Chapel there is an entrance to the loggia where through the large Fenêtre de l'Indulgence (Window of Indulgence - photo 4) there is a view of the Great Courtyard. From this window the Pope used to give his blessing to the assembled faithful.

    Now, the visitor can see over 20 rooms, scenes of historic events, in particular the pope’s private chambers and the frescoes painted by the Italian artist Matteo Giovannetti.

    Opening hours :
    Open every day
    November 2 - March 14 : 9:30 AM to 5:45 PM
    March 15 - 31 : 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM
    April 1 - November 1 : 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM
    From July to September : 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM

    March 15 - November 1 :
    Price = 9,50 euros
    Concession = 7,50 euros
    November 2 - March 14 :
    Price = 7,50 euros
    Concession = 6 euros
    Note : desk closed one hour before

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  • jakesanderson's Profile Photo

    Palais des Papes

    by jakesanderson Written Jul 21, 2006

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    view from the front
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    Explore the Palais des Papes, an architectural treasure that evolved over centuries, during the schism in the Catholic Church. Enjoy a few hours with the audio guide, then wander around the grounds and have a coffee or a meal in the shadow of the palace.

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  • cfuentesm's Profile Photo

    Palais des Papes

    by cfuentesm Written May 18, 2006

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    Palais des Papes
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    The Popes' palace is the biggest gothic palace in the world and was home to the Popes during the 14th century. It's a magnificent palace where you can spend hours visiting the interiors. The Palace is ranked among UNESCO World Heritage.

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  • huwhit's Profile Photo

    Rome? - No Avignon

    by huwhit Written May 8, 2005

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    Palais des Papes

    The Pope lived in this small southern French town for nearly - and the magnificant Palias des Papes or Palace of the Popes stands still today.

    A fascinating look back at the history of the Catholic Church in the early part of the last millenium will leave you with a sense of unease about the way the church was lead.

    Certainly fascinating - and makes Avignon well worth the stop off if your on your way to the Southern coast for the beach from Lyon of Paris.

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  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    LE PALAIS DES PAPES

    by LoriPori Written Dec 17, 2004

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    Le Palais Des Papes

    From 1309 to 1377 Avignon was the home of the Popes, the heads of the Roman Catholic Church. The Palace of the Popes "LE PALAIS DES PAPES" which dominates the city, was built nearly seven centuries ago (14th century), for the Pope, the curia and the Church government. Built in seventeen years time under Pope Benedict XII, then continued by Pope Clement VI , the Old Palace and the New Palace were continually added to and changed by their successors. Nine Popes in all governed the Church from Avignon.
    It is the biggest Gothic Palace in the world.

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  • lashr1999's Profile Photo

    Papal Palace-Palais des Papes

    by lashr1999 Written Sep 22, 2004

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    Palais des Papes view looking out

    The papal palace-Palais des Papes is a Gothic building with walls 17-18 feet thick. It was built 1335-1364. The place was used as a barracks and is now a museum. It offers great views of the surrounding area below

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  • so_alex's Profile Photo

    Palais de Papes

    by so_alex Updated Sep 10, 2004

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    Palais des Papes

    Place du Palais, was built during the 14th century as a fortified palace fo the pontifical court. It is mainly of interest because of the dramatic events that took place here, since the undecorated stone halls, though impressive, are nearly empty except for occasional art exhibits.

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  • akikonomu's Profile Photo

    Palace of the popes

    by akikonomu Written Aug 5, 2004

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    Exterior

    Maybe I should kick myself. The palace was closed so I did not enter it. From the outside, it looked dull and stoney.

    And remembered cobbled streets all around the palace. However, it seems beautiful when lit at night (from the postcards). Duh - what the heck am I talking about...

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  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo

    Palais des Papes

    by rexvaughan Written Aug 3, 2004

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    Palace of the Popes

    If there was only one "must see" in Avignon, this would be it. In 1309 the College of Cardinals elected a French Pope (Clement V). With assurances from the French King the Pope loaded up his SUV and moved the whole show to Avignon. Clement is said to have wanted reforms (unHoly Romans?) and of course the French king wanted the same (right!). The Church literally bought Avignon (probably in a depressed real estate market) and began to upgrade it, including great double walls around the whole city which are still intact today. The Avignon Papacy finally ended in 1377 at the instigation of a nice Italian girl, Catherine of Siena (she is another great story) who supported Gregory IX in his resolve to reture to Rome. Personally I found the exterior of the building absolutely beautiful but the inside was dark and a little barren. There is not a great deal of furniture in the rooms, but lots of frescoes, nice floor tiles, paintings and tapestries. The audioguide is pretty good, tickets are about 7 euros.

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