Avignon

    Place Crillon

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    Address

    Town

    Avignon

    Postal code

    84000

    Map


    Description

    You enter Place Crillon via the ramparts through the Porte de l’Oulle. Oulles were earthenware pots used in Provence for cooking soup. The capacity of a pot was also an old measurement for salt in the Middle Ages. You will notice that there are slits on either side of the gate, which served to protect Avignon from flooding by the Rhone. Wooden planks, with sandbags wedged in-between, were slid into the holes to stop the water from seeping into the city. This system is called a batardeau or cofferdam, and the method is still used to this day on the most vulnerable gates when the water levels are exceptionally high. Opposite the Porte de l’Oulle, the front of the Ancienne Comédie (the “Old Playhouse”) is decorated with pilasters and fire pots. The building was originally a real-tennis court before being purchased by an association of Avignon’s leading families and converted into a theatre. Only the facade remains of this delightful small theatre, which is in the Italian style; at one time, however, it was ‘undoubtedly the most beautiful auditorium in France’ according to the Duke of Ormond. The playhouse was inaugurated in 1732 and had 380 seats. It was the first and only theatre in Avignon until a new building was constructed in 1824 on the Place de l’Horloge, which was known as the Place de la Comédie at the time. It was renamed Place Crillon in honour of Brave Crillon, comrade-in-arms of Henry IV. At number 12, to the left of the former playhouse, is the Hôtel de l’Europe, which was built over an old garden by Clement de Graveson. He bought the site in 1778 and constructed the current building before selling it to Catherine Alix Bongard, who converted it into a hotel in 1799. The most illustrious guests have stayed at the hotel: royalty, heads of state and stars have all contributed to its current reputation. It is said that, in the early years of the 20th century, the head chef used to receive Louis d’0r as tips. He would then hide these gold coins in a hollow cane, and they could be heard rattling as they accompanied him on his walks through the streets of Avignon. On the other side of the square, at number 21, was the Hôtel Royal, where Bonaparte stayed before leaving for Egypt and on his return. It was here, too, that Marshal Brune was assassinated after Waterloo; a commemorative plaque is located next to number 19. You are now going to follow the street that passes between the playhouse and the Hôtel de l’Europe before reaching Rue Joseph Vernet by turning right at the roundabout. See you at the next stop opposite the Façonnable shop and the Goelan ice-cream store. You enter Place Crillon via the ramparts through the Porte de l’Oulle. Oulles were earthenware pots used in Provence for cooking soup. The capacity of a pot was also an old measurement for salt in the Middle Ages. You will notice that there are slits on either side of the gate, which served to protect Avignon from flooding by the Rhone. Wooden planks, with sandbags wedged in-between, were slid into the holes to stop the water from seeping into the city. This system is called a batardeau or cofferdam, and the method is still used to this day on the most vulnerable gates when the water levels are exceptionally high. Opposite the Porte de l’Oulle, the front of the Ancienne Comédie (the “Old Playhouse”) is decorated with pilasters and fire pots. The building was originally a real-tennis court before being purchased by an association of Avignon’s leading families and converted into a theatre. Only the facade remains of this delightful small theatre, which is in the Italian style; at one time, however, it was ‘undoubtedly the most beautiful auditorium in France’ according to the Duke of Ormond. The playhouse was inaugurated in 1732 and had 380 seats. It was the first and only theatre in Avignon until a new building was constructed in 1824 on the Place de l’Horloge, which was known as the Place de la Comédie at the time. It was renamed Place Crillon in honour of Brave Crillon, comrade-in-arms of Henry IV. At number 12, to the left of the former playhouse, is the Hôtel de l’Europe, which was built over an old garden by Clement de Graveson. He bought the site in 1778 and constructed the current building before selling it to Catherine Alix Bongard, who converted it into a hotel in 1799. The most illustrious guests have stayed at the hotel: royalty, heads of state and stars have all contributed to its current reputation. It is said that, in the early years of the 20th century, the head chef used to receive Louis d’0r as tips. He would then hide these gold coins in a hollow cane, and they could be heard rattling as they accompanied him on his walks through the streets of Avignon. On the other side of the square, at number 21, was the Hôtel Royal, where Bonaparte stayed before leaving for Egypt and on his return. It was here, too, that Marshal Brune was assassinated after Waterloo; a commemorative plaque is located next to number 19. You are now going to follow the street that passes between the playhouse and the Hôtel de l’Europe before reaching Rue Joseph Vernet by turning right at the roundabout. See you at the next stop opposite the Façonnable shop and the Goelan ice-cream store.


    Practical Information

    Price conditions

    free

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