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Avignon, the city not to be missed on your trip to Provence

Thème : Visit - Auteur : Gerlinde (03/30/2023)

Avignon, located in the middle of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, is a city rich in history and culture that attracts tourists from all over the world. For French and foreign tourists, it represents a favourite destination, and is mainly known for its exceptional architectural heritage as well as the delicious local cuisine.

Mainly the Palace of the Popes, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the supporting factor. It is an imposing building that was built in the 14th century and housed the papacy for almost 110 years. Currently, visitors can learn about the city's rich history by strolling through the halls of the palace and admiring the frescoes and sculptures on its walls.

During this historical period, Avignon was the main site of the papacy in the Western world. The Papal Court attracted a large number of talented artists and skilled workers who contributed significantly to the city's prosperity and the development of it’s centre.

For the city of Avignon, the construction of the Papal Palace was very important, as it symbolised the power and prestige of the Roman Catholic Church and at the same time also showed the artistic and technical rank that the craftsmen in Avignon had already achieved.

Nine popes reigned in Avignon from 1305 to 1429. Three of them have mainly marked the annals of history: Clement V, John XXII and Benedict XII.

Clement V (1264-1314) was elected by Philip IV. the Fair to succeed Boniface VIII in 1305 as the first French pope since 800 years. He stayed in Avignon for eight years and then returned to Rome until his death in 1314. Under his reign the foundations for the Council of Avignon have been compiled.

John XXII (1249 -1334), appointed by Clement V in 1305, got to Avignon in 1316. He reigned until 1334 and was best renowned for his anti-Heretical policies and his commitment to the creation of an independent justice.

Benedict XII (1285-1342) was the third pope in Avignon, reigning from 1334 to 1342 and became famous for his cultural policies and his undertaking of the expansion of the papal palace.

The imposing city walls and particularly the bridge of Avignon are other important spots for any traveller who wants to explore the city. The Pont Saint-Bénézet (commonly known as the "Pont d'Avignon") is one of the city's most famous symbols and offers visitors from it’s still existing end part a breathtaking view over the Rhône.

The Rocher des Doms, located near the Papal Palace with its large park is very appreciated by tired visitors who can benefit to take some rest there.

Avignon also hosts several museums such as the Musée Calvet (with objects relating to the history of the city and its region), the Musée des Beaux-Arts (with its rich collection of master pieces) or the Musée Angladon (where the art works of Impressionism are exhibited). Furthermore, special exhibitions are also held regularly so that visitors can see and admire the most beautiful collector’s items.

But more than that, the city also offers a wide range of restaurants and bars where you can enjoy the local culinary specialities. Avignon's menus feature fresh and tasty products such as lamb, honey, olives, goat cheese and local wines. So visitors can not only admire the beautiful things of the city, but also enjoy a delicious meal at the same time.

In Avignon, there is no shortage of leisure activities either. You can stroll through the cobbled streets of the old town, admire the colourful houses and flowering gardens and discover craft shops selling local products and souvenirs. Those interested in culture can attend music, dance and theatre performances that are held throughout the year.

Once staying in the Avignon area, the region also offers exceptional landscapes suitable for hiking and discovering nature. For example, holidaymakers can explore the mountains of the Luberon or further afield the Gorges du Verdon for breathtaking views.

An undeniable advantage is also the mild weather in Avignon. With over 300 days of sunshine a year, the city offers a mild, sunny Mediterranean climate that is perfect for taking a day trip to the sea and enjoying outdoor activities in South of France.

If you are looking for a charming place to spend your holiday in Provence, Avignon is a popular destination. With its culinary specialities, varied leisure activities and rich cultural heritage, this city will surely delight you. Provence Villas Sélection offers a selection of villas close by for a comfortable and memorable stay.

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