Palace of the Popes Skip the line ticket

    Skip the line ticket for Palace of Popes. 50% off on audioguide

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    Place du Palais



    Postal code



    +33 (0)4 32 74 32 74





    During the 13th century, the pontifical court was itinerant. It spent little time in Rome and travelled by turns to different cities within its states, largely to escape the insecurity of the troubled political climate back in Italy. In 1305 Bertrand de Got, the Archbishop of Bordeaux, was elected Pope under the name Clement V. He stayed on in France, primarily in order to seek a solution to the severe discord leading the papacy into conflict with the King of France. In 1309, its spent some time in Avignon in the course of its journey. At the time, the town belonged to the Count of Provence, Charles II d’Anjou, King of Naples and Sicily and a papal vassal, who offered his support. Moreover, Avignon was a neighbour of the Comtat Venaissin, which had been in the Church’s possession since the late 13th century. Clement V established a French majority in the Holy College of Cardinals, thus putting an end to Italian domination. The next six elected Popes were all French and chose Avignon as their residence, where they set about building a mini-Empire. The Papal Palace was not only a sumptuous residence but also the seat of power of the High Prince of Christendom, a place of worship and a fortress. The construction of the Palace was the biggest building site in Western Christendom in the 14th century. It was built in less than 20 years, from 1335 to 1352, under the pontificates of Benedict XII, who built the first pontifical Palace – known as the Old Palace – and Clement VI, who added the new extensions – known as the New Palace. In the 14th century, the Papal Palace was the seat of a brilliant Court, and a melting pot of major European cultural and artistic talent which heralded the Renaissance. A number of priceless frescoes In the Pope’s chapels and private apartments are preserved, bearing witness to the innovative work of the French and Italian schools of painting. The painted decor in the chapels of Saint Martial, Saint Jean and the Grande Audience was the work of the Italian artist Matteo Giovannetti. The pontifical library was the most important of its day, with over 2,000 volumes. After the Popes returned to Rome, the Palace became the residence of the legates and vice-legates who governed Avignon and the Comtat Venaissin until the French Revolution. Relive the splendour of the pontifical court thanks to the array of multimedia options in 11 languages: audio guides, films and3-D reconstructions. Over 25 rooms are open to the public: the audience rooms such as the Grande Audience and the Consistory and ceremonial rooms of exceptional dimensions, including the Clementine Chapel which hosted the great religious ceremonies and the Grand Tinel,where feasts were held.

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    Full price : 11 € / Reduced price: 9 €


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