Friday, May 26, 2017

The historical treasures of Avignon


March 18, 2012 by  
Filed under Provence

Avignon is the ideal destination for those on holiday in Provence who enjoy their history.  The city has played a crucial role in the history, not just of France, but the whole of Europe too, and many of the important historical buildings are still open to the public today.

The Palais des Papes was the opulent home of the Pope when the office was based in Avignon for a short period in medieval times.  A fascinating building, full of exhibits about the history of Avignon and the papacy, as well as many religious artworks, you can take a guided tour in English or wander round at your own pace with an audio-guide.  There are, of course, several chapels attached to this building, but the most impressive religious structure in the town is the cathedral, which is as spectacular as you would expect for somewhere with a such a strong religious history.

Just wandering round the pretty cobbled streets of Avignon’s old town is a treat.  Keep your eyes peeled for hidden courtyard gardens, or explore what is left of the town’s defensive ramparts.  Do not forget to visit the Pont St Benezet, which was the subject of the famous song ‘Sur le pont d’Avignon’.

Although most of the bridge fell into the river years ago, you can still walk a short way onto the famous structure.  One of the chapels on the bridge is still standing too and it is worth paying the entrance fee, if just to say that you stood on the famous crossing.

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