Friday, July 21, 2023

21st of July 2023 - Avignon

The Avignon popes built the ramparts that still surround the Old Town of Avignon and the huge, nearly impregnable fortress of the Palace of the Popes that dominates the UNESCO-designated district.  The big wheel was an easy landmark for returning to the ship.

We walked through the streets to the Palace of the Popes past the Clock Tower and streets lined with inviting looking cafés.

There is an arts festival taking placing in Avignon and we saw a number of musicians giving teasers of their performances.

We climbed many steps in the heat to visit the Palace of the Popes with its high, thick walls.  Sadly we were not allowed to take pictures of the ancient frescoes even without flash.  I also tried to imagine what the large rooms would be like when covered by tapestries in the days of the pope.


After we left the we had a quick visit to the Basilique St-Pierre, in the centre of Avignon.  This was built between the 14th and 16th centuries in the Flamboyant Gothic style.

Our final visit of the morning was to the covered market of Les Halles which was thankfully airconditioned.  The average person comes here to do their shopping yet the chefs from the best restaurants also buy their produce here.  I would love to have such a market on my doorstep.

In the afternoon I walked down to the Saint-Bénézet Bridge or, as it is better known, the “Pont d'Avignon” with the famous song known around the world.  The bridge itself has four arches remaining as well as the Philippe le Bel tower on the Villeneuve-lès-Avignon side.

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