Avignon is a French commune in the southeastern France department of Vaucluse. It is nestled on the left bank of River Rhone and is home to 90,194 inhabitants. Between 1309 and 1377, the city was the seat of Papacy. Remnants of this fact are to be found in the Pailais des Papes, the fortress that was decorated by Simone Martini and Matteo Giovanetti. The palace dominates the city. It is surrounded by Ramparts and the remains of a 12-th century bridge that ran across River Rhone.
To complete the beauty of the city as a Gothic masterpiece is the Petit Palais and the Romanesque Cathedral of Notre dame des Doms. This historical aspect of the city influenced the decision by UNESCO to list the historical center as a World Heritage Site in 1995.
The historical center comprises of:
Palais des Papes
"Papal Palace" almost dwarfs the cathedral. The palace is an impressive monument and sits within a square of the same name. The palace was begun in 1316 by John XXII and continued by succeeding popes through the 14th century, until 1370 when it was finished.
Notre Dame des Doms
The cathedral, is a Romanesque building, mainly built during the 12th century, the most prominent feature of the cathedral is the 19th century gilded statue of the Virgin which surmounts the western tower. The mausoleum of Pope John XXII is one of the most beautiful works within the cathedral; it is a noteworthy example of 14th-century Gothic carving.
Also known as Pont St-Bénézet is a bridge in Avignon with only four of the twenty one piers left. One of them stands the small Romanesque chapel of Saint-Bénézet. The bridge is best known for the famous French song Sur le pont d'Avignon.
Visiting the city of Avignon is like nothing you have experienced before. You will be treading where the popes have treaded. It is one of the few places outside Rome where you can get that kind of an experience. Avignon is a cheap destination compared to other French destinations such as Paris and Marseille. If you are travelling on a lean budget but want to travel to France, Avignon is a safe bet.
For more information on accommodation in Avignon or flights to France, please contact one of our Travel Specialists at North South Travel today