Avignon, France


Friday, April 28, 2017

For 94 years Avignon served as the seat of Papal authority, the French Vatican if you will, and grew from a quiet village into a thriving city. Today, while the popes have returned to Italy, modern Avignon is a bustling city with a university, history, cafes, and shops galore. 
I had to find me a Nutella crepe, STAT! This little place was really cool. It had an automatic crepe maker machine that squirted out the batter onto a rotating hot plate. Plus, look at the size of this crepe!

We started our exploration of Avignon on Place de l'Horloge, a shady, cafe-lined square with a cool carousel we let the kids ride on.
Leading into the square is Avignon's main drag, the Rue de la Republique.

Chris the human stroller.
Just north of the square is the historic Palace of the Popes. In 1309 a French pope was elected and at the urging of the French king the new Pope decided that dangerous Italy was no place for the Holy See and moved the whole operation to Avignon. The church literally bought the town and built it up to be a fitting home for the popes who resided here until 1403.
Aside from the Papal Palace, Avignon is known for its bridge. The St. Benezet Bridge is the famous bridge from the nursery rhyme ("On the bridge of Avignon, We all dance there, we all dance there. On the bridge of Avignon, We all dance there in a ring.") and dates back to the 15th century.
Across the river is Fort St. André which was built by the French in 1360 to ensure the Pope didn't extend his worldly political power into France.
Walking along the ramparts down towards the bridge.
On the bridge, after we had danced (in a ring), we got a picture looking back towards the palace.
In 1668 a large part of the bridge was knocked down by a disastrous icy flood. The townsfolk decided not to rebuild and for a century they had no bridge across the river (this was only the only bridge crossing the mighty Rhône between 1171 and its destruction). Only four arches of the original 22 that spanned the river survive today. Here my feetsies are at the edge of the bridge.
Walking along the outside of the medieval fortifications.
Then I jogged across the modern car bridge to get the view of Avignon I had seen on so many postcards.
Back in town we explored a little more before finding a grocery store and heading back to our five-star airbnb for dinner.
Such a lovely town!
A compilation of walking around and through Avignon:
Our family in Avignon, France on Tuesday April 4th 2017.
The next morning we drove to the Pont du Gard aqueduct - definitely worth its own post!

3 comments

  1. What a beautiful city! And how interesting they had a fort to keep the Pope from extending his power! Loving all the photos!!!!!!!!!!

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  2. thank you for this. Im going there in July suits lovely to have a preview.

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  3. What a picturesque town - definitely on my bucket list!

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