First stop was the Palais de Papes! The popes resided in this Gothic palace when they decided to peace out of Rome in 1309. Pope Clement V was elected in 1309 and was French. He decided he'd be better off being the head of the Catholic Church in Provence under a supportive king. The Italians weren't too keen on this idea and wanted to have an Italian pope residing in Rome. They elected another pope in 1378, although there was still a pope in Avignon. This period of time was called the Great Schism and the papal dispute wasn't resolved until 1417. Walking through the rooms of the palace, I was reminded of my AP European History class in high school. I felt smart when we were heading over because I knew the historical significance of the place! Shout out to my AP Euro teacher Mr. Mole! Although I never could figure out why those popes couldn't just get along.....
The palace is in the middle of Avignon, the town just evolved around it. Like much of Provence, Avignon looks the same as it did many years ago.
Heading over to the Palais!
The ceiling frescoes. During the time of Napoleon, the Palais de Papes was an armory.
Soaking up some sunshine and history!
Model of the palace
Religious relief. The most impressive artwork and frescoes were in the Papal apartments, but photos were interdit(forbidden) there. There were some stunning hunting frescoes and designs. As our guide noted, the apartments looked like they were built and decorated for a prince, not a priest....
After making our way through the tourist trap gift shop (you literally cannot leave the palace until you walk through the store), we headed over to the Pont d'Avignon. We only had about 45 minutes until our train left, so Monica, Olivia and I engaged in "speed tourism". We sprinted up the stairs, gazed at the river and enjoyed the view of Avignon for approximately 1 minute. We then rotated taking pictures for 2 minutes. We then raced back down to get on the bus, and made it to the train station with time to spare. Successful speed tourism!
view of the Pont d'Avignon from the road
Enjoying the view
I would really like to canoe under this bridge.
Photo op! Le tourisme vite!!