What to see in Avignon

Views of Avignon

France It has many charming towns and cities and one of the best is Avignon, historic city with a great culture. It is in the south of the country, in Provence, and if you plan to visit the French country a bit, you cannot miss it.

It has a lot of history, many wonderful buildings, fantastic art, museums and squares and little streets and bars and restaurants. Then today, what to see in Avignon.



First of all, it must be said that Avignon is a French city and commune that It is in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. It rests on the left bank of the Rhône about 653 kilometers from Paris and only 80 from Marseille. It has a pleasant Mediterranean climate.

The Romans arrived in Avignon in the XNUMXst century BC and later, in the Middle Ages, the city became residence of Popes until it was incorporated into France at the time of the French Revolution. Until then seven Popes passed.

Since it has so much history, in the air and in its buildings, since 1995 is a World Heritage Site.

What to see in Avignon


Having been the residence of the popes for so long, a pearl of Avignon is the Palace of the Popes, World Heritage. It was the residence of the popes who fled from the corrupt Rome, that is why the city came to be baptized as the City of the Popes.

The palace is one of the most iconic buildings in the city, an impressive structure that dominates the small town. Dates from 1252 and the popes came to occupy it in 1309 during the fourteenth century. Architecturally it is wonderful because you should know that it is about the one of the largest medieval gothic buildings in the world.

It is crossed by two buildings, one is the new palace of Clement VI, elegant and sumptuous, and the other is the old palace of Benedict XII, a true fortress. The best French architects and artists of the time have worked in this way on the entire palace. It stands on a rocky promontory, above the Rhône and the view is really impressive. It is also huge, it almost looks like a cathedral.

There were two phases in its construction, the old palace and the new palace, and its construction was very expensive because it is a super luxurious place, with frescoes, paintings, sculptures, tapestries and else. Unfortunately, when Avignon ceased to be the papal seat, the palace began to fall into disrepair and by the time the French Revolution came it was in pretty bad shape and looted. Later, with Napoleon, it was used as military barracks and a prison, so the frescoes, many of them, although not all, were lost forever.


In 1906 it became a national museum. and since then lives a permanent state of restoration. It's almost all open to the public and you can take a guided tour of the 25 rooms that are prepared for visits.

The city also has some interesting art museums. There is, for example, the Petit Palais Museum, World Heritage, home to a large collection of Italian paintings from the XNUMXth to the XNUMXth century. The building itself is beautiful.

To the north of the Palace of the Popes you come across the Garden of the Doms, a beautiful public garden located on top of a hill with great views of the city and its famous Avignon bridge over the Rhone. There is a cafeteria and you can even enjoy a picnic under a tree.

Avignon also has many churches and right next to the palace is the Avignon Cathedral, crowned by a golden statue of the Virgin Mary, being also the place of eternal rest of many popes. there is also the Basilica of Saint-Pierre, with its marvelous carved wooden doors or the Saint-Agricol Church which dates back to the XNUMXth century and has a wonderful Baroque altar and colorful stained glass windows.

ramparts of avignon

We talked before the famous Avignon bridge a bridge known throughout the world for that famous children's song. It used to be a bridge that crossed the Rhône in the Middle Ages, with 22 arches, but a river flood washed it away and today it only has four arches and the cabin on the Avignon side. On the second pier of the bridge there is also a small chapel dedicated to Saint Nicholas, and obviously, these remains of the famous bridge are World Heritage.

not far from the bridge there is a ferry that takes you to the little island that is in the middle of the river. This transport runs every 15 minutes, every day, from mid-February to the end of December, although schedules vary. The island is a beautiful place to walk.

On the way back to the city you can stop at the Clock Square or Place de'l'Horloge, a beautiful tree-lined square that runs along Rue de la Republique. On the sides of this square are beautiful buildings and many cafes and restaurants. It is a super tourist site. On the west side is the grand Hotel de Ville d'Avignon and the Avignon Town Hall, while the clock tower looms from behind the Hotel de Ville.

To the north of this Hotel de Ville you will see the Grand Avignon Opera, built on what was once a Benedictine abbey. It has been in operation since 1825 and has been renovated in 2021. And if you like to ride a carousel, you will see a very beautiful one in the heart of the square.


Avignon is a medieval city, so it has its ramparts to walk around. The ramparts of avignon They are made of stone and originally built in the XNUMXth century when the popes were around. The walls run around 4.3 kilometers around the city and today it has several entrances for pedestrians and vehicles. So, be sure to take a walk along the walls, see the defense towers at regular intervals, take photos.

And finally there is no French town or city that does not have a local market. So, within the walls of Avignon, the Les Halles d'Avignon flea market, an indoor market that opens every day from 6 am to 2 pm, except Mondays and sells everything, bread, spices, fish... And you will marvel at its 300-square-meter "green wall", a botanical work of art.

Fort San Andres

And if you feel like it and have time to take a walk around the surroundings of Avignon don't stop exploring Fort San Andrés, a magnificent XNUMXth century fortress on top of Mount Anadon. The views of Avignon are stupendous! Do not forget to enter the chapel of Our Lady of Belvezet and explore its twin towers. Note that it closes on Sundays.

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