A PAGE OF HISTORY
Between 1309 and 1377, during the Avignon Papacy, seven successive
Avignon and in 1348 Pope Clement VI bought the town from Joanna I of Naples.
Papal control persisted until 1791 when during the French Revolution it became part of France.
The city is now the capital of the Vaucluse department and one of the few French cities to have preserved its city walls.
The skyline of Avignon is a magnificent urban landscape. Overlooking the city and the Rhône river, the Rocher des Doms presents an exceptional set of monuments including the Saint Bénezet Bridge (the famous « Pont d’Avignon »), the Ramparts, the Petit Palais, the Cathedral and the impressive walls of the Popes’ Palace flanked by four mighty towers. This architectural group has been ranked by UNESCO: « world heritage for humanity ».
The Palace of the Popes stands as the mighty symbol of the church’s influence throughout the western Christian world in the 14th century. Construction was started in 1335 and completed in less than twenty years under the leadership of two builder popes, Benedict XII and his successor Clement VI. The Popes’ Palace is the biggest Gothic palace in all of Europe (15,000 m2 of floor space, which is the equivalent of 4 Gothic cathedrals).
The Palace of the Popes
The famous Pont d'Avignon
If you would like to extend your stay in Provence, around Avignon there are lots to do and see, e.g.:
Located 17 km south of Avignon, Château-Neuf-du-Pape is renowned worldwide for its wines from thirteen grape varieties.
Visit of Roussillon, a typical French village in Provence famous for its red and yellow ochre cliffs, unusual natural landscape.
The village of Gordes perched in the Luberon is also one of the most beautiful villages in France.
Enjoy a visit of L’Isle sur la Sorgue, famous for its antique shops and its typical provencal market (on Sundays only).
Provence reserves many other treasures to discover.