Famous for its nursery rhyme, medieval bridge, and brooding Palace of the Popes, contemporary Avignon bustles and prospers behind its mighty walls. For nearly 100 years Avignon was the capital of Christendom, home to seven popes. During this time, it grew from a quiet village into a thriving city. Today, with its large student population, fashionable shops, and extensive traffic-free areas, Avignon is an intriguing blend of medieval history, youthful energy, and urban sophistication. Street performers entertain the international throngs who fill Avignon's ubiquitous cafés and trendy boutiques.
At a Glance
▲▲ Scenic Squares Numerous hide-and-seek squares ideal for postcard-writing and people-watching — pick your favorite: Place des Corps-Saints, Place St. Pierre, Place des Châtaignes (adjacent to Place St. Pierre), Place Crillon, Place St. Didier, and the big Place Pie.
▲▲ Palace of the Popes Fourteenth-century Gothic palace built by the popes who made Avignon their home.
▲ Jardin du Rochers des Doms Park and ramparts at the hilltop where Avignon was first settled, with great views of the Rhône River Valley and the famous broken bridge.
▲ St. Bénezet Bridge The "Pont d'Avignon" of nursery-rhyme fame, once connecting the pope's territory to France.
▲ Tower of Philip the Fair Massive tower across St. Bénezet Bridge, featuring the best view over Avignon and the Rhône basin.