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Historic Centre of Avignon





Fast Facts

  • Location: On the banks of Rhí´ne river, in the Vaucluse department in southeastern France.
  • Best time to Visit: March to October.
  • Preferred Timing: 09.30 a.m. to 05.30 p.m.
  • How to Get:
    Air:
    The nearest airport is Avignon — Caumont Airport (AVN), located at 8 km southeast of Avignon. Direct flights are available to Paris Orly west 4 times a day. There are also 23 flights to other major destinations of France and also a number of European cities.
    Train:
    The city of Avignon is well-connected to rest of the France by trains. You can reach Quartier de Courtine station in Avignon by high-speed TGV trains from Paris in 2 hours 40 minutes. Then you can take a bus to reach the city centre. One can also reach bd St Roch station in the Avignon city centre by regional trains as well.
    Car:
    You can reach Avignon through A7 and A9 motorways. One can also reach Avignon by taking National highways n° 7 and 100.
  • Entry Fee: €4 onwards.
  • Nearest Airport: Avignon — Caumont Airport (AVN).
  • Nearest Station: bd St Roch and Quartier de Courtine.

It was a refuge for Popes fleeing from Roman monarchial oppression at various points of history, it was a place where papal and anti-papal forces locked horns throughout the 14th and the 15th centuries — Avignon. The historic center of Avignon is famous the world over for the magnificent Palais des Papes and other great buildings that exhibit Gothic architecture at its best.
Located on the banks of Rhí´ne river, the best thing that the city of Avignon is known for is its Palais des Papes or the Palace of the Popes, also sometimes known as Papal Palace. But not only the Papal Palace, the historic centre of Avignon also has a few more exceptional monuments in the form of Romanesque Cathedral of Notre-Dame-des-Doms which would take you back to the 14th century. In the year 1995, UNESCO has declared the historic centre of Avignon a World Heritage Site which include Palais des Papes, Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon bridge.

Visiting the Historic Centre of Avignon

Le Palais des Papes:

It is the most popular attraction of Avignon. Originally the fortress and residence of the Popes in the 14th century, currently Papal Palace is the largest Gothic edifice of the world with gigantic stone rooms. It is a wonderful experience to discover its 25 different rooms including reception halls, cloister, chapels and private apartment of the Pope with precious murals. Visitor continuous cultural activities are also conducted throughout the year. Visitors can also go to a major art exhibition at the Great Chapel during the summer. The famous Avignon Theater Festival is also organized here during the month of July. There is also shop and wine store where anyone can enter free of charge. You can also go to the cafeteria that offers wonderful views.

There are also a few tours in Palais des Papes which the tourists can go for. The most interesting of which are the audio tours which are conducted in 8 different languages. You can visit the Palace at your own, without a guide, and certainly with the headphone audio-guide. The headphones are provided to the visitors free of cost. You can also go for a few guided tours.

Note: Checkroom is required for big luggage.
Animals are prohibited inside.

Le Pont Saint-Bíénezet or St Bíénezet Bridge is a ruined bridge built in the middle ages, before the arrival of the Papacy. In the past, the famous Pont d'Avignon or the Pont Saint Bíénezet Museum was located in the Chí¢telet, now the entrance of the bridge. Here you can learn the history of the bridge and song through various objects, tools, documentations and illustrations. You can also visit the shop here to collect some souvenirs, books and regional products.

Opening Hours

Le Palais des Papes & St Bíénezet Bridge:

1st March to 14th March: 09.00 a.m. to 06.30 p.m.
15th March to 30th June: 09.00 a.m. to 07.00 p.m.
1st July to 31st July: 09.00 a.m. to 08.00 p.m.
1st August to 31st August: 09.00 a.m. to 09.00 p.m.
1st September to 15th September: 09.00 a.m. to 08.00 p.m.
16th September to 1st November: 09.00 a.m. to 07.00 p.m.
2nd November to 28th February: 09.30 a.m. to 05.45 p.m.

Note: Ticket counter closes one hour before the closing time (for Le palais des Papes) and half an hour before the closing time (for St Bíénezet Bridge).

Admission Rates & Tour Price

Le Palais des Papes:
1st November to 14th March: €8.50 (Full) / €7.00 (Reduced)
15th March to 31st October: €10.50 (Full) / €8.50 (Reduced)
Guide (per group): €100 (Weekdays) / €125 (Sundays) / €170 (Public Holidays)

Saint Benezet Bridge:
1st November to 14th March: €4.00 (Full) / €3.00 (Reduced)
15th March to 31st October: €4.50 (Full) / €3.50 (Reduced)
Guide (per group): €100 (Weekdays) / €125 (Sundays) / €170 (Public Holidays)

Palace & Bridge:
1st November to 14th March: €11.00 (Full) / €8.50 (Reduced)
15th March to 31st October: €8.50 (Full) / €10.00 (Reduced)
Guide (per group): €135 (Weekdays) / €175 (Sundays) / €220 (Public Holidays)

Related Links :

http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=UOj7rCJTbW4&feature=related: For external as well as beautiful inside views of the Palace of the Pope in Avignon, watch this first-hand traveler's video!

http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=X7ms_MY_gpA&feature=related: Check out all the main attractions of the old city region of Avignon in this traveler's video!

http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=9UWHl9zydHQ&feature=related: This is an excellent slideshow on the wonderful city of Avignon. The charm of the French Vatican remains as fresh as ever!



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