Well, sort of . . . There is a magnificent park at the top of the rock above the Palace of the Popes. There are fountains, food, swans, ducks, a playground, and a plaza with magnificent views of the famous bridge, the fort across the river and the surrounding mountains.
The thing that looked most fun to me was the Roman chariots. They are little pedal chariots with a mechanical horse that little kids can use to zip around the park and over the plaza. It always looked like so much fun that I wished I was a little girl again. If you have your children or grandchildren with you, let them have chariot races.
If you just want to take pictures, you can spend hours right on the Rock.
This rather lovely monument to the two World Wars executed in an Art Nouveau style is very much to my liking. But I'll be damned if I can find out anything more about it!
I can, however, tell you where it is, so that you can at least go and enjoy it for yourself: it is at the entrance to the Rocher des Doms park, just up from the Place du Palais, and less than 500m from the entrance to Palais des Papes.
Beautifully executed and very moving.
There is a rather good statue of a chap called Jean Althen on display in the park at Rocher des Doms ... which of course begs the question, "Who was he in the first place"?
The plaque is cryptic and just notes that he was Armenian and that he was an agronomist. This didn't leave me a lot wiser as to why he had been afforded such prominence, and so I undertook a little recreational research.
It turns out that M. Alten's contribution to Avignon's economy was significant, as he was the first man to commerically cultivate the madder plant to the area during the early 18th century. The madder plant is used to produce a whole range of natural dyes, which were subsequently used in Avignon's textile industry, which was experiencing a resurgence at the time.
Unfortunately this didn't help Jean Althen much, as despite his achievements, the poor man died a pauper in 1774.
There is a bluff that extends further up from the area near the Cathedral called the Rocher des Dom. This area must have been the earliest habitation. It is now a park and gardens as well as an out door place to eat lunch. Walking around on the bluff one has the finest views across the Rhone, with a view of Villeneuve-des-Avignon and below of the Pont St. Benezet. Walking further around one sees other sights.
Rocher des Doms is a rocky hill that has been transformed into a beautiful park. It is located in the city centre, between the Cathedral and the River Rhône, and offers beautiful views of river, Pont d'Avignon and Villeneuve-Lès-Avignon.
This great park on top of the hill is a wonderful and relaxing place. It is very well landscaped and preserved. This little pond in the middle with swans is a perfect place to rest from the climb and enjoy beautiful natural surroundings. Wander through the park as well as seeing the great views.
This is a beautiful park on the hill above the Palais and offers great views including this one of the lovely Rhone, the city itself and the Pont St. Benezet. It is a lush garden with lots of trees, shrubs, blooms, statuary and a very nice little pond with a fountain and swans. It closes in the evening so go either early morning or late afternoon to get the best light. It is a short but somewhat steep walk up from the Palais plaza. You could also catch one of the trams.
This is a nice park perched upon a hill, next to the papal palace and the cathedral. It offers nice views of the surrounding contryside. There's a little pond in the park, and Michelle spent 45 minutes conversing with an old man who was feeding the birds in the pond, all in French--I was very impressed.
The photo shows a statue at L?Espace du Souvenir Francais.
The Rocher des Domes (a cliff top park) is just up the hill from the Palais des Papes and is worth the walk.
From here there are great views of the Rhone River and the Pont St-Benezet.
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