Home to the papacy from  1309-1377 this city in the heart of the Vaucluse is the base for your exploration of the region.




Home to the papacy from  1309-1377 this city in the heart of the Vaucluse is the base for your exploration of the region.



Le Palais du Papes sits high atop the Rhone and is the largest Gothic palace in Europe-15,000 square meters. In addition to guided tours there is a spectacular light show every August-October. A thrown animation screening on all 4 walls inside the Courtyard with sound, light, voice and new technologies. Every evening, the stones at the Palace of the Popes come to life and tell of what they have seen – the history of the Popes, of the city. The quintessence of the Palace.


Le Pont d’Avignon was inspired by Saint Bénézet, a shepherd boy from the hamlet of Villard in the Ardèche who (according to tradition) while tending his flock heard the voice of Jesus Christ asking him to build a bridge across the river. Built between 1177  and 1185 only 4 of the original 22 stone arches and it ends in mid-span. Every French child knows the song Sur le Pont d’Avignon. 


The Festival d’Avignon is held every July in the courtyard of the Popes’ Palace as well as in other locations of the city. Founded in 1947 by Jean Vilar, it is the oldest extant festival in France.

Since its inception it has attracted great French dramatic talent: Jean Négroni, Germaine Montero, Alain Cuny, Michel Bouquet, Jean-Pierre Jorris, Silvia Montfort, Jeanne Moreau, Daniel Sorano, Maria Casarès, Philippe Noiret, Monique Chaumette, Jean Le Poulain, Charles Denner, Jean Deschamps, Georges Wilson, and Gérard Philippe and has become a showcase for young talent and new plays.

We had arranged to meet with Sylvie Jolie of the tourist office for a leisurely walk through the town that included a visit to the vibrant covered produce market des Halles, the Convent of Saint-Clare where Petrarch met Laure, the basillica de Saint-Pierre and the synagogue that reminds us that Jews have been a part of this community since the 4th century.

But for me la piece de resistance was the 5 star Hotel La Mirande

Avignon Tourism Office




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