Monday, 12 November 2012

A Blustery Day in Avignon

Monday morning and we decided to start our day with a visit to "Palais des Papes" (Palace of the Popes) in Avignon. Known as one of the largest and most significant medieval Gothic structures in Europe, we were certainly quite intrigued. More importantly, however, Avignon was home to the Catholic Popes who fled Rome during a period of upheaval during the fourteenth century. From 1309 to 1378, 9 different Popes called Avignon their home. I had no idea about this fascinating piece of history - until today.

Despite being very large and historically significant, the Popes' Palace is somewhat bare internally, with most frescoes worn away and any traces of residency long removed. Fine statues, grand scale and skill of construction are all that remain to impress. Even the audio-guide could not quite inspire any great feelings of awe at what we were seeing. Still, we were glad that we came.

"Le Palais des Papes", Avignon

View out to Avignon from " Palais des Papes"

The delicate craft of preserving the Palace's beautiful sculptures

Brett Snr in the Grande Chappelle, Popes' Palace

Portraits of the 9 Popes of Avignon

Clement VII ( 1378-1394)

Cathedral adjoining "Le Palais des Papes", Avignon
Avignon, unfortunately, did not beckon us to explore its walled surrounds today. There seemed to be all the usual lovely upmarket stores, mixed with souvenir shops and historical museums - but we are worn out. And so it was, a lazy afternoon in our little village in Provence, as the wind whipped up the leaves outside our door.                                                     Tricia

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