Mack Prioleau on Visiting Avignon, Provence
Ever since I started traveling on my own, I’ve always made it a point to explore the streets of the city or country I’m visiting on foot. A walking tour, in my opinion, is the best way to truly get to know a new place. Hi, everyone! It’s Mack Prioleau once more. I’ve been to France before, but I must admit that I haven’t yet explored Avignon on foot. For this post, I wish to take you on a virtual walking tour around the medieval Provençal town of Avignon.
Avignon has sealed its place in history for being the town where popes resided during the 14th century. The years from 1307 to 1377 are known as the Avignon Papacy because it is during this time when the popes made their home in this town. At the time, Avignon was part of the Holy Roman Empire in the Kingdom of Arles.
Palais des Papes
When you visit the papal residence, the Palais des Papes, you will be looking at a magnificent structure covered in controversy. It was said that French Pope Clement V refused to stay in the official residence in Rome because of a conflict that ensued between the French crown and the Papacy.
But controversial history aside, the Palais des Papes is considered as the largest structure in Europe built in the architectural style of the Gothic period. Before you walk towards the structure, you might want to pause for a few moments to enjoy its magnificent façade. From a distance, the palace looks like a castle straight out of a fairy tale.
There are several rooms that are open to the public, such as the Great Audience Chamber, the Consistory Hall, the Banqueting Hall, and the Papal Bedchamber. The Chapel of Saint John located on the ground floor presents you with breathtaking frescoes by Italian painter Matteo Giovanetti.
This 13th-century UNESCO World Heritage Site is another example of the architectural design during the Gothic period. This building served as the residence of Episcopal bishops before the construction of the Palais des Papes.
The building has been transformed into a museum where beautiful works of art by famous Italian painters are on display. Of note is the “Virgin and Child” painting by Botticelli. You will also see works from the Avignon School of Painters.
Other notable structures that you can visit during your walking tour are the Saint Bénézet Bridge, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame-des-Doms, Eglise Saint-Didier, and the Place de I’Horloge.
If you love walking and hiking like I do, then a walking tour of Avignon is a must.
On that note, there are also hiking trails around Provence that you can check out if your feet are itching to go on a hike during your vacation in France. From wine trails to lavender paths, chapel discovery trails, there are plenty of hiking paths that you can explore near Avignon.
I do hope you enjoyed reading this post. Please check back again soon for more posts on outdoor adventures by yours truly. Again, this is Mack Prioleau.