CITY OF ART AND HISTORY, "WORLD HERITAGE SITE" BY UNESCO
The city of Avignon is located 40 km from Arles, on the left bank of the Rhone river, in the department of Vaucluse in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region.
It has a rich historical and architectural heritage classified by UNESCO as a "World Heritage of Humanity" site: an exceptional monumental complex consisting of the Ramparts, the Saint Bénezet Bridge, the Petit Palais, the Cathedral of the Doms and the Palais des Papes.
The ramparts still surround the old town. Over 4 km long, their construction began as early as 1355 under the pontificate of Innocent VI and were completed in 1370 during the pontificate of Urban V.
The construction of the bridge of Saint Bénezet was begun in the 12th century. It stretched for about 900 meters and had 22 arches. The bridge was the first passage over the Rhone between Lyon and the sea. Rebuilt several times, its use was abandoned in the 17th century. Today it has four arches and a chapel dedicated to Saint Nicholas.
The Palace of Popes is the largest Gothic palace in the world. Its construction began in 1335. It is mainly the work of two popes: Benedict XII and his successor Clement VI.
Located next to the Palais de Papes, the current building of Notre-Dame des Doms dates from the 12th century. A new apse and a grandstand were built at the end of the 17th century.
The statue that dominates the building represents the Virgin Mary protecting the city of Avignon. It was built in 1859.
Avignon is renowned for its artistic and cultural heritage: religious buildings and museums contain rich collections of artistic and historical objects. Among places to visit are the Petit Palais Museum, the Angladon Museum, the Calvet Museum, the Chapelle des Pénitents Noirs.
The Festival of Avignon takes place in July in the Cour d'Honneur of the Palais: thematic exhibitions and concerts are organized.
Laurette Theater offers shows throughout the year.
Lovers of contemporary artists can visit the Galerie Roland Charton.
AVIGNON: THE PALACE OF THE POPES
The Palace of the Popes is one of the 10 most visited monuments in France.
This Gothic palace has 15,000 m2 of floor space and contains 24 rooms.
The monumental residence of the pontifical sovereigns of the 14th century present to the visitor more than twenty rooms, including the private apartments of the pope and their decorations of frescos executed by the Italian artist Matteo Giovannetti.
Visits the Palace of the Popes is open every day, all year long:
From September 1st to November 1st from 9:00am to 7:00pm;
From November 2nd to February 28th from 9.30am to 5.45pm; in March - from 9:00am to 6.30pm;
From April 1st to June 30th from 9:00 am to 7:00pm; and during July from 9:00am to 8:00pm.
The museum closes at 6:30pm on days coinciding with the Avignon Festival; and during August from 9:00am to 8:30pm.
The last admission to museum is made 1 hour before the closing of the monument. Audio guide in 11 languages. Seven (7) films are arranged in different rooms of the course, synchronized to an audio guide.
AVIGNON: HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL HERITAGE
MUSEUM OF PETIT PALAIS
The permanent collection of Le Petit Palais Museum is comprised of Italian paintings (e.g., a large collection of works by old Italian masters), sculptures by Avignon natives, and many artistic works by artists of the Ecole d'Avignon.
It contains about 390 paintings and 600 sculptures. Most of the paintings in the collection date from the 15thand early 16th centuries.
Le Petit Palais is a former residence of the archbishops of Avignon dating from the 14th century. It was classified as a historic monument in 1910 and later in 1992.
To visit, the Palace is open:
From Wednesday to Monday
- from 10:00am to 1:00pm and
- from 2:00pm to 6:00pm. Closed on January 1st, May 1st, and December 25th.
Address: Palais des archevêques, place du Palais, Avignon
Phone: +33 4 90 86 44 58
The collection of the Avignon Museum of Fine Arts and Archeology contains a collection of works by major artists from the 18th , 19th and 20th centuries.
A part of the Calvet Museum, is located in the 18th century Franco-Italian style hotel.
For visits, the museum is open:
From Wednesday to Monday from 10:00am to 1:00pm and from 2:00pm to 6:00pm.
Address: 65 rue Joseph Vernet, Avignon
Phone: +33 4 90 86 33 84
The collection of the Musée Angladon houses works of art from the 16th to the 20th centuries: Degas, Daumier, Manet, Sisley, Forain, Van Gogh, Cezanne Picasso and Modigliani.
The first floor has retained the layout of the mansion: a medieval and Renaissance room, an artists' studio, a Chinese salon and 18th century lounges featuring numerous paintings, drawings, stamped furniture and works of art.
For visits, the museum is open:
From March 15th to November 15th from 1:00pm to 6:00pm, from Tuesday to Sunday;
From November 15th to March 15th from 1:00pm to 6:00pm from Wednesday to Sunday.
Address: 5 rue Laboureur, Avignon
Phone : +33 4 90 82 29 03
BLACK PENITENT CHAPEL
The Chapel of the Black Penitents is a beautiful presentation of the baroque art of the end of the 16th century.
Address: 57 rue Banasterie, Avignon
GALLERY ROLAND CHARTON
Works by contemporary artists are exhibited at Galerie Roland Charton. In this gallery you will find paintings by Jean-Michel Cavalli, Ernest Audibert, Juan Benito, Bernard Delheure, Roger Keiflin, Yuichi Ono, Alfred Persia, Joseph Piermatteo, and sculptures by Jacques le Nantec and Lyvie de Sutter.
Address : 23 rue Saint-Agricol, Avignon
WINE TASTING: CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE
The Chateauneuf-du-Pape appellation is situated about 52 km from Avignon.
The history and development of the this appellation is related primarily to the installation of the Roman Catholic Popes in Avignon during the 14th century.
The culture of winemaking in the region probably dates back to Roman times, though the first written evidence of its existence dates only from 1157 AD.
In any event, it was through the patronage of the popes that wine of this appellation became well known. The vineyard now has 3,200 hectares spread throughout the towns of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Bédarrides, Courthézon, Orange and Sorgue.
VINADÉA: WINE HOUSE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE APPELLATION
The appellation Châteauneuf-du-Pape consists of five (5) villages: Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Courthézon, Bédarrides, Sorgue, Orange.
Vinadéa, house wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, offers regular tastings of appellation wines. More than 200 different items are available for sale. Most bottles are sold at the same price as the property available individually or per case, with the possibility to be delivered anywhere throughout France.
The wine house is open every day:
- 10:00am - 12:30pm and 2:00pm - 7:00pm during summer;
- 10:00am - 12:30pm and 2:00pm - 6:30pm mid-season;
- 10:00am - 12:00pm and 2:00pm - 6:00pm during winter;
Closed in February, on December 25th, and January 1st.
Address: Wine house of Châteauneuf-du-Pape "Vinadéa",
8, rue Marechal Foch, BP 68 84232 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cedex
Phone: +33 4 90 83 70 69
AVIGNON: RESTAURANT ‘OLD FONTAINE’ AT THE HOTEL EUROPE
The “Old Fontaine” restaurant ("La Vieille Fontaine") is located within the Hotel d'Europe, in a property built in 1580 by the Marquis of Graveson and inhabited by families of Graveson and Forbin until the time of the French Revolution (1789 – 1799).
The hotel was designed by Lady Pierron in 1799, at the insistence of her friend Napoleon Bonaparte. As a result, soon thereafter the hotel was nicknamed "L’Hotel d’Europe".
During its heyday in the 19th century, personalities such as Queen Astrid of Spain (1832), Victor Hugo (1839), and Charles Dickens were frequent guests at the "Hotel Europe".
The restaurant "La Vieille Fontaine" now offers contemporary cuisine in the Mediterranean style.
It was awarded a Michelin star and a Michelin Macaron.
For lunch the restaurant is open from Tuesday thru Saturday from 12:00pm to 1:30pm. “Business Menu Set” is available throughout the business week (served only at lunchtime).
For dinner: from Tuesday thru Saturday from 7:30pm to 9:30pm.
Address: Hotel d'Europe
12 Place Crillon, 84000 Avignon
Phone: +33 4 90 14 76 76
« MUST DO » DESTINATION NEAR AVIGNON
The Abbey of Our Lady of Sénanque, a Cistercian monastery, is located at 47 km from Avignon, in the town of Gordes.