Avignon

    Hotel des Monnaies

    Category: Tag:

    Address

    address

    Place du Palais

    Town

    Avignon

    Postal code

    84000

    Map


    Description

    Opposite the Palais des Papes, on the square, is the Hôtel des Monnaies (Mint), the earliest civil monument in the Baroque style in Avignon. Its highly-decorative facade ensures that it does not pale into insignificance opposite the medieval colossus on the other side of the square. The outside of the old Hôtel des Monnaies was probably decorated by Simone Bartolucci on the orders of the nephew of Pope Paul V, Scipione Caffarelli. The expanse of polished freestone on the ground floor calls to mind Florence or Bologna. The dedicatory cartouche in the centre is surmounted by a grinning mask and a comedia dell’arte mascaron, whose humorous nature stops at its enormous nostrils. Lions’ heads on both sides illustrate the largesse dispensed by the wise government of Pope Paul V. Huge clusters of fruit, as political as they are decorative, unite the land of the Comtat and the wisdom of Rome. The sculptor surmounted them with the eagle and dragon of the Borghese family, and they also appear on the coat of arms on the upper panel. You will notice that the eagle and dragon are looking in the direction of the square, as though in response to the gargoyles on the Palais des Papes facing them. The three keys (the symbol of Avignon) were missing from the arms of the Borghese family for a time, but now the facade has almost completely regained its original lustre. Opposite the Palais des Papes, on the square, is the Hôtel des Monnaies (Mint), the earliest civil monument in the Baroque style in Avignon. Its highly-decorative facade ensures that it does not pale into insignificance opposite the medieval colossus on the other side of the square. The outside of the old Hôtel des Monnaies was probably decorated by Simone Bartolucci on the orders of the nephew of Pope Paul V, Scipione Caffarelli. The expanse of polished freestone on the ground floor calls to mind Florence or Bologna. The dedicatory cartouche in the centre is surmounted by a grinning mask and a comedia dell’arte mascaron, whose humorous nature stops at its enormous nostrils. Lions’ heads on both sides illustrate the largesse dispensed by the wise government of Pope Paul V. Huge clusters of fruit, as political as they are decorative, unite the land of the Comtat and the wisdom of Rome. The sculptor surmounted them with the eagle and dragon of the Borghese family, and they also appear on the coat of arms on the upper panel. You will notice that the eagle and dragon are looking in the direction of the square, as though in response to the gargoyles on the Palais des Papes facing them. The three keys (the symbol of Avignon) were missing from the arms of the Borghese family for a time, but now the facade has almost completely regained its original lustre.


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