25 juin 2009

Avignon -day 1

We’re just back from Avignon.
The time we spend there was too short !
We were able to see only a fraction from what was offered.
After a 5 hours traveling with the TGV from Lille we arrived at 10.30 in Avignon.
Our hotel was easily found and there we had a first surprise !
The entrance :
The garden :
The hall to our room :
An outside view from our room :
Look what a superb room we ‘received’ :

We slept under the roof of the hotel, an ancient monastery, with a view on the roofs.

Since the weather was very hot and that the thunder wasn’t far we decided to visit the ‘Palais des Papes’. Inside those large old walls the temperature is just fine.
The pope came in Avignon in 1309 – just 700 years ago – because the situation in Rome wasn’t stable. He looked for a neutral place to stay. Since Avignon was a propriety from the king of Naples, he accepted the invitation to reside in Avignon – at that time – an Italian town – in the middle of France.

The ‘Palais des Papes’ the largest gothic palace in the world was built in less than 20 years (1335-1352) by Benoît XII and Clément VI ! - I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears.- and was both a powerful fortress and a magnificent palace. It was the seat of the Christian world in the 14th century. This monument, recognized as UNESCO World Heritage site, bears the mark of the nine popes who succeeded one another there, the most famous of whom were Benedict XII (Benoît XII) and Clément VI.

‘Le Palais des Papes’ is huge, we spend 4 hours visiting with an audio-guide.

After visiting the ‘Palais’ we went on the ‘Pont d’Avignon’ :
It’s real name is the ‘Pont Saint-Bénezet’ .
The bridge, built in the 12th century, was often damaged by the raging flood waters of the Rhone river, and during wars. Repaired and rebuilt again and again, it was abandoned in the 17th century.
The song ‘sur le pont d’Avignon’ made the bridge famous and unforgettable.
After a well filled day, we went eating in a little restaurant where art and food were mixed.

“Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do.”

Write you soon

1 commentaire:

Nicole Davet a dit…

Bravo pour cette visite en Avignon...Vendredi26/06,Après midi, j'étais à Avignon...Si j'avais su, j'aurais été ravie de te rencontrer "en vrai" et de te saluer....J'habite dans cette région.
Ton blog m'intéresse beaucoup. Nicole