The route is quite spacious with a good audio guide. It was very good even though it´s almost empty. But you are not allowed to take pictures inside or videotapee. At the exit there is a kind of small winery where you can buy wines with Chateauneuf-du-Pape as the Popes were fond of these.
The Saint Benezet bridge, also simply known as Avignon Bridge, is an emblem of the city, along with the Palace of Popes. The bridge was built to join the city with the palace, with Villenueve les Avignon with the other side of the Rhone river. The Popes built their fortified residence on the other side of the river and they needed easy access to the palace.
The construction was inspired by Saint Benezet, a shepherd, who according to legend, was guided by angels to build it. Now there's only a piece of the bridge because the river washed it away. You can visit it, there are several chapels nearby. The Cardinals prayed to be able to pass through there. There was also an entry fee of 4 euros.
The bridge inspired a famous french children's song, that you can hear in the bridge's little museum.
I took a trip to the south of France with my girlfriend this summer, and we decided to visit Avignon to see all the architecture related to the period when the Popes were located there. When we arrived, we were surprised to find that the city was immersed in an amateur theater festival held annually, during which all the streets are lined with posters for events and people inviting you to attend their shows. There are many historical places to visit such as the famous Bridge of Avignon, the Papal Palace, the Cathedral ... All the buildings are remarkable for their beauty and splendor. I recommend this trip, and even better if you are able to visit in August, when the city is even more beautiful! Greetings!
Located in the city center and next to the Palais des Papes, the Garden of the Rock des Doms is the true center of Avignon. From there, the city began to grow, to become the center of the Catholic religion in the fourteenth century. The park is open daily, depending on the season, closes 9 pm in summer and in winter around 5. A small tourist train that takes you to the garden. For children there are games ahead, horses and animals and small lakes. It is a very cool place in summer when the city is hot. It is still the highest point of the city which necessitates some climbing. The rock below the garden, has been flattened a bit to plant plants and trees. Amazing views over the Rhone valley and the castle of Villeneuve Lez Avignon.
The Avignon Festival is a great festival for theater in the city, one of the most important in France. It happens every year in mid-June, since its creation by the artist Jean Vilar in 1947. Vilar spent a day in the Court of Honor of the imposing Palace of the Popes, and installed a scenario to bring art to the public. Growing in popularity since, the theatre is very accessible. Many actors performed prestigious works in the palace and in the many theaters of the city. The festival is divided into two parts. In the more classic part, there are a large selection of works performed in the theaters, tickets are sold out months before the event, and are quite expensive. The Off festival, is held in the street and small independent rooms. Artists everywhere, jugglers, fire, improvisations, contribute to a crazy, cool atmosphere.
Since Roman times, the area of Avignon extended, and their defenses were adapted to reach the current size of the fortified city. During the wars and epidemics, the population was kept closed in and hid around the original birthplace of the city, the rock of Doms. The first Roman wall was built in the first century, but its original location is not well known. During the twelfth century, a double wall with a ravine around it was constructed in order to protect the city, the first perimeter being more or less the old Roman perimeter. You can see this construction around Saint Charles Street. The work was completed in 1248. With the arrival of the Popes, the city grew rapidly, and in 1355 they began to undergo a new construction, which is the current wall. If there is heavy traffic outside, inside there are small quiet streets where you can walk and take a look at things.
From la Roca de los Doms, cradle of Avignon and today home to a pleasant public park, which dominates the entire region, washed by the Rhone. It is called in French La Vallee du Rhone. Despite being windy due to its geographical location (the wind called the mistral blows hard, facilitated by the Rhone), it is a very beautiful and pleasant place. First because from Lyon to Marseille, this is a region steeped in history, culture and cuisine. The Romans settled in the region long before Christ. They built cities like Avignon or Lyon, which still retain some Roman characteristics. Many small medieval historic towns are worth visiting too. Famous for wine grown on the banks of the river, the Cotes du Rhone.
The town hall of Avignon is a large building in Clock Square, not far from Palace Square. While tourists take coffee in Palace Square, Clock Square is the square of the inhabitants and is a central place for the city due to the presence of the town council. In the first century, Avignon was a Roman city, and had its epicenter here with thermal baths, temple and the ancient forum. During excavations busts of Emperor Tiberius and his son Drusus, ve died in the year 23, were found (you can see them at the Archaeological Museum). In the fourteenth century, the cardinals built a palace which later became the first town council, this building is the tower Jacquemart and houses a multitude of works of art and portraits of popes and cardinals and the Italian style theater room that held operas.
You cannot leave Avignon without seeing the Popes Palace and its environment. The square of the palace has a special charm, something all of Avignon has, as it is one of the nicest medieval cities I´ve ever seen. In the square you can catch a small train that goes around the area. It´s entertaining and cheap.
There is no better place to compare the gastronomy of the region than the food markets! An essential place to visit is the Avignon market. It is within the walls of the city and easily accessible. Cheese, bread, fish, seafood, spices .... a perfect place for breakfast, buy and to start your day with the captured taste, smell, sight and feel. Although it was August, and one of its parades was closed, it was worth it! We bought cheese, bread and spices to make a bouillabaisse which we both liked in Marseille.
It's a nice old center square of Avignon, dominated by the iconic bell tower of the Great Augustinians. In this place once stood the Augustinian monastery, destroyed during the French Revolution. In the center, there is an iron structure that previously harbored a small flea market. Immigrants of the city met below what was the old vegetable market of the square and in the nineteenth century it moved to this square. Now there is a Provencal market held a few days a week. A highlight is the church and convent of the Carmelites, a kind of public garden. People come together in this beautiful historic building to chat in the shade during the hottest days. Also, leave the walls and visit the river.
This is the central station of Avignon. It's in front of Cours Jean Jaures (the walls of the historic city entrance) and is very convenient if you arrive without a rental car. There is a luggage room (around 5 euros/bag) to use for up to 3 days, it's expensive for an afternoon but many people coming for the summer don't sleep in hotels because there are festivals and the hotels are full, then it's a solution to be weightless. A bus links the station to the Avignon TGV station, where fast trains go to Paris, Montpellier, Marseille, etc. At the level of the central station there are regional trains to the coast and the Alps. If you travel a lot you can buy a Eurail pass or a 12-25 card (if you're less than 25 years old).
The Hotel Des Monnaies is opposite the Palace of the Popes, in Palace Square. It's a perfect example of Italian Baroque architecture and is one of the most beautiful facades of the city. Construction began in 1619 with a decree by Bagni, but we don't know the artist who was responsible for the work. It is loaded with details and characters from mythology that contrast with the severe facade of the Palace of the Popes. It bears the arms of the Borghese family, as the Cardinal Paul V Borghese lived there. Today this place is occupied by the conservatory of music and during the city's festival of theater (mid-July) it is used to organize the Festival Off - all the shows that are organized on the streets and in other places than a theater.
In the nineteenth century the school and the cloister of San Marcial became a natural history museum and garden. The garden contains the busts of 2 great botanists of the city, Requien and Fabre, ve were insect specialists. The park is named after Agricol Perdiguier, a carpenter from the nineteenth century, ve developed the guilds of the city, when you walked to work as an apprentice to learn a craft. It's a nice place next to the temple of San Marcial where ancient ruins mingle with nature and inside there's a small terrace and cafe serving drinks and sweets.
Place Pie was born from the destruction of a large manor house of Mr. Parpaille. He was a dean of the University of Avignon as was his father, and a deputy of the city in Rome. He was born Catholic, but happened to be reformist in 1561, and so was killed as a heretic in 1562 and his home was destroyed. The space thus became a square, baptized by the name of Pope Pius IV. A market was built in its center. The square is next to its neighbour Plaza Pignotte and the Jewish Quarter, which is separated by the brotherhood St. John of Jerusalem. It was next to the cuerros market. Several nice bars are housed the square, and an old courthouse has been restored well. It also has alarge indoor market with a wall of vegetation.
The Red Sky is an English pub located at the foot of Avignon. The square still allows the passage of cars but it is very limited and they have to go very slowly so as not to bother the tranquility of the terrace. Some trees provide shade for the place, and in front of the facade of the building there is a central market, fully covered with vegetation. Inside the place it is classic pub décor, with soft lighting and a dark wooden bar. They have a happy hour with cheap pints of beer until nine at night. The food is not really English, but more like local snacks. The service is faster if you order and pay directly at the bar.
Located in the city center and next to the museum Aubanel, Saint Pierre church is built in the plaza of the same name. It was built from 1385, thanks to donations of Cardinal Pierre de Pres Unfortunately you can not see the wood, the altarpiece or paintings if there is no Mass because it is unstaffed during the week. But the Provencal Gothic facade is one of the most decorative and its major portals are worth a look. Doors four meters high allow entrance to the main aisle. A statue of the Virgin with her child, made by Jean Péru stands there. A city rich merchant sponsored the doors. Each has details carved in relief, representing the saints or the Virgin.
Avignon is a city steeped in history and with a truly medieval atmosphere. The three essential destinations on your list of stuff to do in Avignon must be the Palace of the Popes, Avignon Bridge, and the Cathedral. The first is simply the most important of the attractions in Avignon. Gothic and imposing, in its day it was the residence of the papal court and was decorated by the great artists of the time. Inside you can visit more than 25 rooms, which is one of the must-do Avignon activities for tourists.
The Cathedral, second on our list of top Avignon attractions, is next to the Palace of the Popes and is distinguished by the six meters of gold that crowns the highest tower, a symbol for the locals and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful things to see in Avignon.
The last on our essential list of places to visit in Avignon is the Saint Benezet Bridge. Although short, a visit is definitely worth it to enjoy the beautiful views of the city. There are many other things to do in Avignon such as visiting as Ceccano Cardinal's Palace, the Convent of the Celestines, or Requien Museum. If you still haven't decided what to do in Avignon, minube's experienced users are here to help!