Pope’s Palace, Avignon

, Show all 52 places in FRANCE » FRANCE52
The Papal Palace in Avignon is the former seat of the popes.
Images sources: © horizon-provence.com, © frenchriviera.travel
    View all 52 places in FRANCE
  1. #FR01
  2. Pl. du Palais, 84000 Avignon, France
  3. +33432743274
  4. officetourisme@avignon-tourisme.com
  5. http://www.palais-des-papes.com/
  6. Working hours*:
    Individual visitors:
    Monday - Saturday 9:00 - 17:00
    Groups:
    Monday - Thursday 9:00 - 17:00
  7. Prices*:
    From 9,50€
  8. * - opening and closing times as well as entrance prices, are subject to alterations without notice. Visitors are advised to check before visiting.
  9. 43.9509216, 4.8076327 Copy to clipboard Copy
    #Castles , #Family time

Its interiors are empty today, but you can still see where the popes lived and where they concealed their valuables. The palace is one of the most visited attractions in France.

The Papal Palace in Avignon (Palais des Papes) is the most important attraction in the city, and one of the most important attractions in France. No wonder that during the holiday season it is visited by crowds of tourists. The palace complex, which also adjoins the Notre Dame Cathedral and the remains of the famous St. Benedict’s Bridge, is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

The Papal Palace in Avignon was the seat of popes and antipopes

Avignon was the seat of popes during the years 1309–1377, and this period is known as the “Babylon captivity of popes”. Clement V first moved from Rome to Provence; following him, Pope John XXII, Benedict XII, Clement VI, Innocent VI, Urban V, and Gregory XI; and the antipopes Clement VII and Benedict XIII, all sat on the Avignon throne. It is worth adding that in 1348 Clement VI purchased Avignon, and the city became the possession of the papacy until 1791.

Interesting fact: before the Pope moved to Avignon, he had his headquarters in the Lateran Palace, Rome. It wasn’t until he returned to the Eternal City that the pope settled in the Vatican because the Lateran Palace had been destroyed.

The Papal Palace in Avignon is the largest Gothic castle in Europe. In fact, it is the entire palace complex, which consists primarily of the Old Palace and the New Palace. Right next to it is also the Small Palace, which was the seat of the cardinals. The complex is complemented by the Notre Dame des Doms cathedral, in which the popes John XXII and Benedict XII were buried. The tomb of the latter is in the temple, although the pope no longer rests there; while John XXII rests in the cathedral’s treasury, which, unfortunately, is closed for most of the year.

The papal complex stands almost in the center of the Old Town of Avignon, surrounded by 4.5 kilometres of fourteenth century walls. It’s easy to get to it from the main station by going straight down Cours Jean Jaurès. Visiting the Papal Palace in Avignon is like walking through the abandoned Vatican. Unfortunately, there is practically nothing left of the old wealth, nor decorations or furniture. Of course, the participants of the French Revolution are primarily responsible for this state of affairs.

Over 25 rooms have been made available to visitors, but only a few have survived even with fragmentary wall paintings. The palace was only thoroughly renovated in 1969, and today is one of the 10 most-visited attractions in France.

Last Updated: 7 January, 2022
Information sources: © frenchriviera.travel