Avignon and Palace of the Popes @ France. Day 5

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France Provence

After our 2.5 hours train ride on the TGV, we are in Avignon, the city of the Popes!

Avignon is the perfect city for something old, something new.  While the City of the Popes made me feel like I have gone back in time to the medieval era, and at any moment, soldiers in armour will come riding out on the stone-cobbled, meandering roads,

at the same time, a little modernity with the merry-go-round, boutiques, painters at the side-walk was not awkward at all in the medieval setting, but added life to the ancient town.

Surprisingly, there was Hermes, and it was Hermes, Avignon Style!

The key attraction in Avignon is of course the Pope’s Palace, or Palais des Papes.  In 1309, Pope Clement V chose to settle in Avignon, France, instead of Rome.  7 Popes reigned in Avignon before papacy was returned to Rome.  It was during this period, the palace was continuously expanded and transformed into the world’s largest gothic palace today.

The palace has not always been the way it is.  New wings were added, tearing down old ones, or new wings were added on top of the old wings.  There’s an amazing 3D animation that shows the transformation of the palace not to be missed.

Pope Clement VI’s room (Chambre du Pape) is one of the most beautiful room in the palace as it is decorated with frescoes on the walls.  No photography was allowed in the room to prevent damages to the paintings.  The wall had blue background with red flowers, like the one shown on the souvenir box.  No restrictions on the floor so I took the tiles in the pope’s room !  The stag room (Chambre du Cerf), is also another room with beautiful frescoes – no photography again!

The palace is a huge place to explore.  With the audio guide that is automatically provided upon admission, you could almost relive scenes in different parts of the palace – the pope receiving his guests for dinner in the banqueting hall (Grand Tinel Hall),

religious ceremonies taking place in the Grande Chapelle,

and, interestingly, we caught a glimpse of how the popes’ kept their treasure – in stone safes that are built into the floor!  

The Palais des Papes is mangnificent and it’s must if you visit Aginon!

More Info
Avignon http://www.avignon-tourisme.com/home-1-2.html

Pope’s Palace http://www.palais-des-papes.com/anglais/index.html
Tel:  +33043 274 3274
Opening Hours : Open every day.  1st Sept – 1st Nov: 9am – 7pm.  2nd Nov – 29 Feb: 9.30am – 5.45pm.  Mar: 9am – 6.30pm.  1st Apr – 20th Jun: 9am – 7pm.  Jul: 9am – 8pm.  Last ticket sold one hour before closing time.
Admission Fee: 10.50 Euros, inclusive of audio guide.




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