Avignon

    Place des Corps saints

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    Address

    Town

    Avignon

    Postal code

    84000

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    Description

    This is the site where the dead were buried outside the walls of Avenio during Roman colonial times. Cardinal Pierre de Luxembourg, who died in 1387 at the age of 19, wanted to be interred in the small cemetery of the poor near the river Sorgue out of a sense of humility. A series of miracles occurred over his tomb shortly afterwards, and it became such an important place of pilgrimage that the Queen of Sicily, Marie of Blois, had a wooden chapel built there in 1389. Clement VII granted the Celestins permission to found a monastery on the same site. The first stone of the church was laid on June 25, 1395 by the Dukes of Berry, Burgundy and Orléans. The building advanced in stages and, after work was interrupted in 1425 following the construction of a third bay closed in by the temporary façade, it was never resumed. Later, in 1690, the relics of St Bénézet were removed from the bridge and housed in the church of the Celestins. The square then took the name Place des Corps Saints (‘Square of the Holy Bodies’), an allusion both to Pierre de Luxembourg and St Bénézet. Like a village in the heart of Avignon, the Place des Corps Saints is now a pleasant esplanade arranged around a fountain; it is surrounded by shops and cafe terraces, with shade provided by four large plane trees where a mix of locals, students and festival-goers gather to cool off in the heat of July. This is the site where the dead were buried outside the walls of Avenio during Roman colonial times. Cardinal Pierre de Luxembourg, who died in 1387 at the age of 19, wanted to be interred in the small cemetery of the poor near the river Sorgue out of a sense of humility. A series of miracles occurred over his tomb shortly afterwards, and it became such an important place of pilgrimage that the Queen of Sicily, Marie of Blois, had a wooden chapel built there in 1389. Clement VII granted the Celestins permission to found a monastery on the same site. The first stone of the church was laid on June 25, 1395 by the Dukes of Berry, Burgundy and Orléans. The building advanced in stages and, after work was interrupted in 1425 following the construction of a third bay closed in by the temporary façade, it was never resumed. Later, in 1690, the relics of St Bénézet were removed from the bridge and housed in the church of the Celestins. The square then took the name Place des Corps Saints (‘Square of the Holy Bodies’), an allusion both to Pierre de Luxembourg and St Bénézet. Like a village in the heart of Avignon, the Place des Corps Saints is now a pleasant esplanade arranged around a fountain; it is surrounded by shops and cafe terraces, with shade provided by four large plane trees where a mix of locals, students and festival-goers gather to cool off in the heat of July.


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