Located in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, and built on the highest part of northern Avignon, the Popes’ Palace overlooks the city by its impressive size and timeless splendour, making this place the capital of Christendom. It is the most impressive Gothic palace of the Middle Ages and the entire world. This huge edifice composed of a fortress and a palace remains emblematic of the power of the Christian religion.
The Palace was a papal residence in the fourteenth century, where nine popes have succeeded each other: Clement V, John XXII, Benedict XII, Clement VI, Innocent VI, Urban V, Gregory XI, Clement VII and Benedict XIII. Two of them, Benedict XII and Clement VI, called the builder popes, were at the origin of the old palace and the new palace. Its construction started in 1335 and took less than twenty years, with the collaboration of two great French architects, Pierre Peysson and Jean du Louvres.
Discovering the wonders of the Popes’ Palace
The Popes’s Palace is ideal for all sorts of visits, either alone, in couple, among groups, family or friends. Outside regular visits of the Palace, including the Notre Dame des Doms cathedral, the Ramparts, the Petit Palais, the immense walls surrounding the four gigantic towers of the Palace and the famous Saint-Bénezet bridge, known worldwide as the Pont d’Avignon, secret areas of the Palace are also to be discovered with the help of tour guides, including hidden stairways and corridors leading to unusual places such as the former papal apartments and the terraces.
But to have an unforgettable experience of the Popes’ Palace, one should not miss the major event that allows visitors to discover a majestic Palace bathed in light and colour. “The luminescence of Avignon”, to be held this year on August 10 to 2 October, will take place each evening in the famous courtyard of the Palace in a magical atmosphere, and tell the story of the Palace using a huge video projection accompanied by music, with sessions in English and French.
Multimedia tour, visiting the Popes’ Palace differently
Thanks to modern technology, it is now possible to tour the Pope’s Palace differently, in a more up-to-date and playful way, and pull the clock back to the time while enjoying a glimpse of the ancient splendour of the edifice when it was created in the fourteenth century, and also the evolution of its construction until today. A multimedia tour is made possible thanks to the use of advanced multimedia and scenic devices composed of a multilingual audio guide synchronized with several films representing the Palace at various stages of its construction.
Your hotel in Avignon to discover the Popes’ Palace