Sunday, July 03, 2016

Impressions Of Avignon, France

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Many, many years ago, my husband and I spent a day and a night in Avignon during our honeymoon and were charmed by  the ancient papal city immediately.  We were just passing through then, so did not have time to visit the famous Palais des Papes, but we both remember a memorable meal at a small créperie right behind the palace and the hotel we stayed at which was right next to the palace and was called, of course, L'Hotel Du Palais Des Papes.  The window of our room opened up right onto the palais, which as amazing.
So it was definitely time to revisit and explore more the city.

Avignon was the seat of Western Christianity Avignon and the residence of the Popes in 1309, when the newly elected Pope Clement V left behind Rome during a period of unrest during that City.
The papacy returned to Rome in 1377, but caused a schism when rival claimants to the papacy vied for control. Tow of the 'anti-popes', Clement VII  and his successor Benedict XIII , continued to rule in Avignon until 1403.

After the Avignon Papacy ended, the Palais des Papes was neglected. It was ransacked during the French Revolution and subsequently used as barracks and a prison duringNapoleon's reign. It was not till 1906 that is was declared a national museum.  Since then, it has been painstakingly restored and work continues on a large scale.

Today, the palace, the famous bridge of Avignon and the old medieval city center,  surrounded by its fortified ramparts, have been declared Unesco World Heritage sites.

Of course, Avignon has more to offer than the papal palace.  The winding streets with their charming plazas by themselves are worth a visit. And of course, Avignon is situated not far from the Chateauneuf Du Pape wine region and the Mediterranean.  Need I say more?

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My husband in front of the hotel where we stayed on or honeymoon decades ago.



2 comments:

Unknown said...

Your photographs are stunning and evocative. Thank you for sharing the history and other information. I also really love hearing about your personal connection and experience with Avignon. Is that bridge in your photo the famous Sur le pon d'Avignon?

Katia said...

Yes, it is, but it is only a half bridge. I honestly never knew till this trip. The other part was aparently made if wood that collapsed a long time ago.