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victorsglobe Avignon - A travel report by Victor
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Avignon,  France - flag France -  Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
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victorsglobe's travel reports

A Day in an Alternate Rome

  13 votes
During the Great Schism of the 14th century, the Papacy was in crisis and the papal court moved to the southern French city of Avignon. The rival papal court in France sponsored a century's worth of architectural, artistic, and musical innovation.


During my second hit and run tour of Europe back in 2000, I spent a day exploring Avignon. I went with three friends and we all have fond memories of this fascinating little city.

Favourite spots:
The Palace of the Popes
The Palace of the Popes
A tour of the wonderful Palace of the Popes is a must for anyone coming to the south of France. It is a UNESCO World Heritage cite and is Europe's largest Gothic palace. Your tour through the palace will take you through some quite exquisite rooms.

What's really great:
The outdoor market in the quaint pedestrian area of the city is especially interesting with all kinds of neat local crafts and produce on sale.

Sights:
The city's other big sight is the 12th century St Bénezet Bridge, also on the UNESCO World Heritage list, which has some fantastic views over the Rhône River.

Other recommendations:
To get you in the mood, listen to some of the wild secular music composed during the 14th century by musicians working at the papal court. Some of the best composers of the era, known as the Ars Subtilior (the "More Subtle Art"), include Baude Cordier, Jacob Senleches, and Solage. Cordier's "Tout par compas" and "Belle, bonne, sage" are especially beautiful and were notated in interesting ways.


Published on Thursday December 2th, 2004


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