AVIGNON, CITY OF THE POPES
An opportunity not to be missed to explore a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Avignon, "the city of the Popes": a step back into the history of the church and the Papacy, tracing the splendour of the reign of 7 pontiffs who brought prosperity and prominence to Avignon.
What we will see
- Palace of the Popes
- Free time for shopping and exploring the city
What we will do
- We leave the port of Marseille by coach, and head for Avignon, a journey that takes about one hour. The city of Avignon is famous for having been the seat of the Papacy from 1309 to 1377, a period known as the Avignon captivity . Pope Clement V transferred the Papal court from Rome to Avignon, from where 7 Popes reigned until 1377 and 2 antipopes stayed on almost until the end of the 14th century, bringing a period of prominence and prosperity to the city.
- Our tour takes us to the Palace of the Popes which has been recognised in France as a historic monument since 1840, and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. The building, which is both a palace and a fortress, is one of the most extraordinary examples of Gothic architecture of the 14th century. It was built in two phases, by two popes: to the north, the more austere Palais Vieux (Old Palace) was built during the reign of Benedict XII; the Palais Neuf (New Palace), to the south, was built by his successor, Clement VI. Inside, the now-empty galleries, chambers and chapels give an apparent impression of austerity. The frescoes and handwoven tapestries in the bedrooms and the Papal study however, give a better idea of the pomp and splendour of times gone by.
- Before going back to the ship, we have some free time for a walk in the streets of the centre or for shopping.
What you need to know
- This excursion is not recommended for guests with mobility problems.