Avignon Journals

Weekend in Avignon

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An October 2011 trip to Avignon by travelswithkids

Palais des Papes-Palace of the Popes Photo, Avignon, France More Photos
Quote: Home to the Popes in the 1300s, the historical city of Avignon is a great place to visit, full of museums and sidewalk cafes. Highlights include the huge Palace of the Popes, the encircling city wall, and the Pont d'Avignon, a famous ancient bridge.

Palais des Papes-Palace of the Popes

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Attraction | "The Dominant Attraction in Avignon"

Palais des Papes-Palace of the Popes Photo, Avignon, France
Quote:
Avignon is a very impressive city, filled with tall centuries-old buildings, still completely surrounded by its medieval ramparts. But the premier attraction here is the Palace of the Popes, seat of the head of the Roman Catholic church in the 1300s. The palace is enormous, with numerous crenelated towers and turrets visible from the outside. It is also amazing to tour on the inside, though lacking in the ornate decorations and opulence of the Vatican. With a few exceptions, the Avignon palace walls are nearly scrubbed down to the plain stone, but it is still a great tour.Briefly, Pope Clement V moved here in 1309, and he and the next 6 popes remained in Avignon. Even after the ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 1, 2011

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

Pont d'Avignon/Pont Saint-Benezet

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Attraction | "The fabled Pont d'Avignon"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
One of Avignon's big tourist attractions is the Pont St. Benezet, or Pont d'Avignon, made famous by a French folk/children's song. I'd never heard the song before we visited, but if you grew up with it, I guess it would be a kick to visit the actual bridge.There isn't much left of the bridge anymore. Only three of the original twenty arches remain. Construction started on the bridge in the 1100s, and it must have been quite a feat to span the 900 meters across the river.In modern times, it doesn't look that far to the other bank, but that's because the closest land is really an island that silted up in the middle of the river. Over the centuries the bridge was repeated washed out...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 8, 2011

Pont d'Avignon/Pont Saint-Benezet

Avignon, France

Autour du Petit Paradis

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Hotel | "Good Place to Stay Inside Avignon"

Autour du Petit Paradis Photo, Avignon, France
Quote:
The Autour du Petit Paradis offers a good value for a stay within the walls of Avignon. Yes, you can spend less money to stay in one of the chain hotels with the micro-bathrooms just outside the ramparts. And I will concede that central Avignon is compact enough that you can walk anywhere even if you're staying just outside the center. But for our first, and maybe only, stay in Avignon, we wanted someplace with a little more character inside the city.Autour du Petit Paradis isn't a "hotel" but bills itself as apartments, or a guest house. This 17th century house is divided into apartments of varying sizes which can accommodate couples or families for short or longer stays. Our double ro...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 7, 2011

Autour du Petit Paradis
5 rue Noel Biret
Avignon, Provence 84000
877-662-6988

Rocher des Doms

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Attraction | "Perfect Tour Route and a Nice Spot of Green"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Rocher des Doms is a pleasant garden area on top of the rock outcropping sticking up through the center of Avignon, the same promontory that the Palace of the Popes is built into. But the garden is at the very top, and thus its overlooks provide great views of all sides of the city. In the cramped, ancient, stone-walled city of Avignon, this garden is a rare public green space that is really nice for relaxing. There's a nice playground for children, a little cafe where you can get an ice-cream or cool drink, and a nice rock grotto with a little pool at its base.Our hotel owner just happened to mention visiting this garden in an off-hand way, stating that it was a pleasant space to spen...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 6, 2011

Rocher des Doms
near Palais des Papes
Avignon, France

Lapidary Museum-Musee Lapidaire

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Attraction | "Great sculptures to start your Avignon Museum-going"

Lapidary Museum-Musee Lapidaire Photo, Avignon, France
Quote:
Honestly, we initially stopped at the Lapidary Museum because it was a convenient place to activate our Avignon PASSion museum pass. We had just picked up the pass at the tourism office just a few steps down Rue de la Republique from the museum. But this turned out to be a great stop full of some very interesting ancient sculptures. The Lapidary Museum ( Musee Lapidaire, or Museum of stonework) displays a variety of stone carvings from the collection of Avignon's Musee Calvet. It contains ancient artwork from a variety of areas and eras, including Gallo Roman works, Etruscan pieces, ancient Greek pottery and sculpture, and early Christian artifacts. Parts of the collection are from archaeolo...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 6, 2011

Lapidary Museum-Musee Lapidaire
65 Rue De La Republique
Avignon, Provence
04 90 85 75 38

Gare d'Avignon TGV Railway Station

Attraction | "Avignon Train Stations"

Gare d'Avignon TGV Railway Station Photo, Avignon, France
Quote:
There are two train stations in Avignon. The central Gare is right outside the city walls, at the foot of Rue de la Republique, the main street into town. The TGV station is short bus ride outside of town, so make sure you know which station you have when buying train tickets. There is a shuttle bus between town and the TGV station for a nominal fee. The in-town bus stop is easy to find, just inside the city walls and to the left (as you face into the town center) across from the central train station, next to the post office.We liked the architecture of the sprawling TGV station. From the inside it looks like an inverted canoe, slightly bent. We were less impressed the the french rail...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 8, 2011

Gare d'Avignon TGV Railway Station
South of Town Center
Avignon, France