Avignon Journals

Around and about Avignon

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A June 1997 trip to Avignon by MichaelJM

Roman Orange Photo, Provence, France More Photos
Quote: Avignon, Orange, St. Remy, and Mount Ventoux--what a variety of experiences to watch out for in this picturesque part of France.

Roman Orange

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Orange"

Roman Orange Photo, Provence, France
Quote:
What a delightful place to visit, and just in case you were thinking of picturesque orange groves I’ll put you right straight away. The city was named after the Royal House of Orange, who inherited the place in 1559 from the House of Chalon. But of course, its history predates that because originally it was occupied by the Romans and has a couple of exceptional monuments.The Theatre Antique, which in its heyday would have seated around 10,000 spectators, is still put to its original intention with many a “star turn” singing from the stage. Actually I do them a disservice because they’ve had quality “acts” including the infamous Pavarotti. This Roman theatre was built at the beginning of the Ch...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 10, 2006

Roman Orange
Orange
Provence, France 84100

Pont d'Avignon/Pont Saint-Benezet

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Attraction | "Bridge at Avignon"

Pont d'Avignon/Pont Saint-Benezet Photo, Avignon, France
Quote:
We approached the town of Avignon to the strains of "sur the pont d’Avignon" humming when we weren’t too sure of the words! The Bridge of St. Benezet used to span the river with 22 splendid arches leaping through the water. But the bridge has had a chequered history. Originally built by a young shepherd, on instructions from God, around 1170. It is said that Benezet was believed to be totally mad and was brought before the local judge who stated that if Benezet could lift a heavy boulder than he would be viewed as capable of building the bridge. This challenge was allegedly responded to and Benezet not only lifted the boulder but he carried it across the Rhone and placed it at the point where the b...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 10, 2006

Pont d'Avignon/Pont Saint-Benezet

Avignon, France

Palais des Papes-Palace of the Popes

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Attraction | "Palais des Papes"

Palais des Papes-Palace of the Popes Photo, Avignon, France
Quote:
The walled city of Avignon was for a significant time in history the papal capital of the world with Pope John XXII settling in the town after unprecedented unrest in Rome. It’s not clear if he intended to seek temporary respite from the violence but it turns out that the Papal seat remained in Avignon for several decades and did not return to Rome until 1376. Of course the Popes like to do things in style and so they set about building their papal home – making it very special from the outside and extravagantly ornate within. We took a guided tour of the palace and although we benefited from a highly informative trip I do think it was somewhat rushed. We had no real time to ponder before be...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 11, 2006

Palais des Papes-Palace of the Popes
3 Place Palais
Avignon, France
04 90 86 04 13

Mount Ventoux

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Attraction

Mount Ventoux Photo,
Quote:
The climb (by car I hasten to add) to the summit of Mount Ventoux was slow and steady and it was hard to imagine the sight when tour de France athletes are straining on pedals to reach the peak. From a distance Mount Ventoux looked covered in snow and we later discovered that for 75% 0f the year that is exactly the case, but on this occasion it was the sun bouncing off the limestone summit. It looked superb against the clear blue sky.On our trip to the summit we stopped off at the lower climbs to check out a small 11th-century Chapel. The Romanesque Chapel de Notre-Dames du Groseau is named after the nearby fresh water springs of the source of the River Groseau.The lower verdant slopes...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 12, 2006

Mount Ventoux

Carpentras, France

Saint Rémy de Provence

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Attraction | "St Remy de Provence"

Quote:
St. Remy de Provence was high on our agenda as this was one of the towns that had proved to be an inspiration to Vincent Van Gogh. The old town is in the middle and interestingly all the street names are all signed in French and Provencal. The famous church of St. Remy, as painted by van Gogh, was a bit of a disappointment (perhaps our expectations were too high!) and we all agreed that his vibrant interpretation was far superior to the actual relic that remained. But the St. Paul de Mausole monastery is a beautifully cared for monument on a 10th-century religious site and in what purports to be the finest Romanesque church in Provence. The bell tower does dominate the surrounding square and on a clea...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 17, 2006

Saint Rémy de Provence

Bouches-du-Rhône, France