Avignon (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur)

Guide to the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region from the Union of Taxi Drivers in Paris and Nice.
Avignon (Vaucluse department, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region). Park Rock of the Houses (Le Rocher des Doms) and the Papal Palace (a fragment of a photo from a postcard from the 60s, a collection of authors). View from the Rhone. The Rock of the Houses (Le Rocher des Doms) is a rocky outcrop on the left bank of the Rhone, which served as a defense for the founding and then development of the city of Avignon. Its top is covered with a garden.

Avignon Provence- Alpes- Côte d'Azur

Avignon. Rock House Park and Papal Palace, photo after WW2

History, briefly. This site has been inhabited since the Neolithic period, as evidenced by archaeological work in the area of the Rock of the Houses and the area of Libra.
In 1960 and 1961, excavations in the northern part of the rock were led by Sylvain Gagnière Doms – they unearthed a small anthropomorphic stele (height: 20 cm), which was found in a reworked earth zone. Sculpture in molasse Burji Galien, it is in the form of a “funeral stele” engraved with the face of a human figure, highly stylized and without a mouth, whose eyes are marked with wells. On the lower part, slightly shifted to the right, a deep cup is excavated, from which eight lines form a solar representation, a unique discovery on this type of stele.

Compared to identical solar numerals, this stele, representing the “First Avignon”, has been classified in a period extending between the Copper Age and the Old Bronze Age, corresponding to Southern Chalcolithic No. 2.

This was confirmed by the discoveries made in these excavations, located next to a large water tank of the adjoining rocks, which were found in two polished green rock axes, stone tools, typical for “pastors’ trays” several objects of Chalcolithic jewelry and a large number of fragments of native or imported ceramics of the Holtzstats (Ionians and Phocaeans).
– Al Makkari.
“In 725, the new governor of Spain, Choim al-El-Kelbi, invaded Provence in the Rhone valley, then Abderakhman el-Ghafiki (Abderaman) continues Châlons, Macon, Besançon, Bona, Auxerre in Luxem (monastery) and Sens, Lyon, Avtun, Valencia and Vienne. This chronicle of the eighth century confirms the state of regression in which Avignon was found, the inhabitants of which took refuge on the rock of the Houses.

Avignon Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur

Avignon attractions. Papal Palace fortress, photo after WW2

Papal Palace, sights of Avignon. Guide to the South of France. Cote d’Azur and Provence.
The Papal Palace, in Avignon, is the largest of the Gothic buildings of the Middle Ages. At the same time a fortress and a palace, the papal residence was in the fourteenth century the seat of Western Christianity. Six conclubs were held at the palace of Avignon, culminating in the election of Benedict XII in 1335; Clement VI. in 1342; Innocent VI in 1352; Urban V in 1362; Gregory XI in 1370 and Benedict XIII in 1394

The palace, which is an interweaving of two buildings, the old palace of Benoît XII, the fortress is located on the impregnable Rock of Doms, and the new palace of Clement VI, the most magnificent of the papal in Avignon, is not only the largest Gothic building, but also where the style is expressed in its entirety international gothic. It is the product for its construction and decoration of the joint work of the best French architects Jean Pierre Peysson and the Louvre (according to Loubiere), and the largest fresco by the painters of the Sienese school, Simone Martini and Matteo Giovannetti.

The Pontifical Library of Avignon, the largest in Europe at the time with 2000 volumes, is centered around a group of enthusiastic clerics of fiction who were from Petrarch, the founder of humanism.
While the Clementine Chapel, known as the Grande Chapelle, attracted its composers, singers and musicians. It was here that Clement VI celebrated Mass of Our Lady by William Machault.
The palace was also a place that, due to its size, allowed “a general transformation of the way of life and organization of the Church.” This contributed to the centralization of services and the adaptation of their functioning to panic needs by creating real control. The employees of the Curia, which numbered from 200 at the end of the thirteenth century, grew to 300 at the beginning of the fourteenth century, reaching 500 in 1316. To this were added over a thousand secular officials who could work towards the interior of the palace.

Another circumstance in structure and organization allowed the Church to adapt “so that it may continue to carry out its mission effectively” when the Pope saw fit to return to Rome from Avignon. The hope for reconciliation between forms of Latin and Orthodox Christianity, together with the completion of the pacification of the Papal States in Italy, provided a real basis for this return.

This was joined by the litigation of Urban V and Gregory XI, that the place of the papacy should be where the grave of Peter, the first pontiff, is located. Despite financial difficulties, the opposition of the Court of France and the strong reservations of the College of Cardinals, means were found to reach Rome. The first place on the left bank in Avignon on April 30 was founded in 1362, the second on September 13, 1376, and this time the choice was final.

Despite the return of two anti-popes during the Great Western Schism, the constant presence from the fifteenth century to the cardinals of the century of legates to the then vice-legates of the eighteenth century, the palace lost its former glory.
“It is impossible to imagine a more beautiful ensemble in its simplicity, more grandiose in its concept. It is all the papacy, sublime, immortal, spreading its majestic shadow on the river of nations and ages rolled up at its feet.”

— Charles de Montalembert, Vandalism in France — Letter to M. Victor Hugo
Papal Palace of Avignon

The Palace of the Popes of Avignon is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Papal Palace is a historical monument of the first list of historical monuments in 1840. In addition, since 1995 the Papal Palace has been classified with the historic center of Avignon, on the UNESCO World Heritage List, with Cultural criteria i, ii and iv.

The Palace of the Popes is located in the northern part of Avignon “intramuros”. It was built on a rocky outcropping to the north of the city, Doms Rock, overlooking the left bank of the Rhone.

Its imposing size and its support from the rock allow it to dominate the city and be seen from afar. One of the best views, and this is no coincidence, is on the other side of the Rhone, Mount Andahon, the promontory on which Fort Saint-André Villeneuve-le-Avignon is built. It is also visible at the top of the Alpilles, just under twenty kilometers to the south.
In the thirteenth century, before the arrival of the pope in Avignon, the rock on which the palace was to be built, as we know it today, was partly reserved for windmills, partly built from houses dominated by the Palais Podestata, not far from which was the bishop, and also the church of Notre-Dame-de-Dome, only the survivors of the buildings remained before the arrival of the pontiffs.

Already in front of the palace building in the 12th century, the future Pope Adrien IV was seen ironically joining the canons of the Abbey of Saint-Ruf in Avignon.
Exploring the Palace of the Popes.

The Palace of the Popes is one of the medieval buildings, according to which researchers have a rich collection of archival documents, but the first historical research, starting with the papal archives of Italy, dates back only to 1890, at that time based on the Secret Archives of the Vatican. While in France, from 1693, Étienne Baluz published his giant paparum Vitae Avenionensium.

The Corresian scholar collected there a large number of texts, acts and other documents relating to the construction and life of the papal palace of Avignon. But it took more than a century and a half for the explorer of the palace itself. It was J.M.A. Chaix, who in 1849 made the first study of frescoes. As for the historical and archaeological research, it was done in 1855 by Jules Corret. He then returned to Eugene Viollet-le-Duc to publish in the early 1870s the first architectural study of the palace and ramparts of Avignon.

The next decade, in 1882, research was carried out in Avignon, at the Archaeological Congress of France. It was an opportunity for the department of archivist Louis Duhamel to hand over to the congressmen two articles on the topic of the papal palace. A new approach to the study of the largest monument in Avignon was taking shape and made it possible to perceive its history in different ways.

Cult, professor emeritus at the University of Provence, noted that “the Provençal historiography of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries also depends on an already established tradition. It was basically an Italian (not to say ultra-montage) tradition at the end of the fourteenth century, when the Church was to be divided between the pope of Rome and the pope of Avignon. Historians, like the Nativity of the Valois, understand that this period can only be studied after he turned to the archives of Avignon and to the Vatican.

After the publication of Erle in 1890 with his “Historia Bibliotheca Romanorum Pontificum tum Bonifatianæ tum Avinionensis”, this method was followed by K. H. Schäfer and Robert André-Michel. In the first edition, between 1911 and 1937, were the reports of the Reverend Apostolic Chamber of Avignon, Ministry of Pontic Finance, in which the construction of the palace occupied an important place, and the second, in 1917 and 1918, a series of unpublished documents on the palace of the popes.
It is in this direction that Dr. Gabriel Colombe, who from 1909 to 1945 published more than sixty studies on the palace, in the Memoirs of the Academy de Vaucluse under the general title “Architectologists and Reviews”. At the same time, another Avignon, Joseph Girard, did the same between 1909 and 1958. During this half century he published eleven studies and books on the subject. Their successor was the custodian of the palace, Silvin Gagnère, who supported his erudition with extensive archaeological excavations on site and published the results of his research in 27 books from 1962 to 1991.

Origin and location: choice of Avignon

After his election at Perugia on July 24, 1305, and his coronation at Lyon on November 15, Pope Clement V, who refused to join Rome, where the struggle between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines raged, undertook a long wandering in the realm of France and the English Guyenne. The former Archbishop of Bordeaux was elected with the support of the King of France, but not his vassal, in whose place he became, but had the responsibility to support him.

The Council of Vienna, which he convened to judge the Order of the Temple, demanded that he approach that city. Therefore, he was reunited with Contat Venaisin, papal land. If his choice fell on the city of Avignon, the possession of the Count of Provence, was that its location on the left bank of the river put it in connection with northern Europe along the Rhône / Saône and the Rhone Valley the border between France and the Holy Roman Empire, only the cities could have served as a bridge to claim the role of international capitals. It was the case, Avignon Saint Benezet bridge, the place of passage between Spain and Languedoc, Provence and Italy.

In addition, the importance of the champagne fairs and the rock-stone until the end of the thirteenth century made Avignon a commercial area. The papal presence would have given it brilliance, as well as the fact that the conflict between England and France was smoothed out, which also had political significance, that Rome could not have too eccentric counterparts of these two kingdoms.

If Rome from ancient times, had its strength and size, its central position in the Mediterranean, but lost its importance in this late Middle Ages, the center of gravity of the Christian world was the situation in Avignon, much more favorable geographically and politically.

Clement V arrived in Avignon only on March 9, 1309, and settled in the Dominican monastery of the preaching brothers. Under this pontificate, Avignon became under the leadership of King Philip the Fair of France, the official seat of part of the Sacred College of Cardinals, while the pope decided to live in the towns of Carpentras, Malocene or Monteux, Comtadine.
After the death of Clement V, and after difficult elections, Jacques Duèze was elected at Lyon on August 7, 1316. But at 72 years of age, his age caused him to be considered by the cardinals as a transitional pope. Being neither Italian nor Gascon, he had only a political role, which has so far been obliterated. However, on 9 August he announced his intention to reopen the Hearing of Controversy in Avignon on 1 October. He had in mind also his willingness to establish a papacy in the city, where he had been bishop since March 18, 1310. Logic would dictate that Carpentras would be the transalpine seat of the papacy. But the largest city of Vaison in Vaucluse remained corrupted by Gascon’s coup in the conclave that followed the death of Clement V. In addition, the former bishop of Avignon, apparently attached to his episcopal city. It was familiar to him, and had the advantage of being at the crossroads of the great roads of the Western world, thanks to the river and the bridge.

Remains of the auditorium of the chamber of John XXII, unique witnesses to the first palace of the popes
Crowned on September 5, he chose the name of John XXII and went down to Avignon by the river. When he arrived there, he left the location of the monastery of preachers before settling again in the episcopal palace, which he occupied.

This palace was located on the site of the current palace of the popes. The episcopal buildings were in the area of the city that was the easiest to defend, hence his choice. He made an attempt to adapt his former residence to his new office. Guasbert Duval (or Gasbert of Val) Vicar general, countryman of the pope and future Bishop of Marseilles was responsible for acquiring the necessary expansion. Armand de Via, nephew and later bishop of Avignon, who was expelled against the advance of the cardinals, bought the land on which the new bishopric was built, now occupied by the Little Palace Museum.

The first work was entrusted to Guillaume Hero, named de Cucuron. The Pope’s dwelling was in the west wing, as well as in the studios and apartments of his closest associates. The north side was made up of the parish church of St. Stephen, which was converted into the papal chapel of St. Madeleine. In the east, the dwellings of the “cardinal nephews” were located, as well as various departments of the Curia. This east wing, but further south, had the services of a treasurer and operator. A building was built to the south for spectators. The last project was carried out by William Cucuron in March 1321 and finally completed in December 1322.
Old Palace of Benedict XII

On December 4, 1334, at dawn, John XXII died at the age of 90. He was succeeded by his Jacques Fournier, said Cardinal Blanc. After choosing the name Benedict XII in honor of the patron saint of the Cistercian order, the new pope was crowned in the Dominican church in Avignon on January 8, 1335, by Cardinal Napoleon Orsini, who had already crowned two previous popes.

Installed in the episcopal palace, which completely changed its predecessor, the new pope very quickly decided to modify and enlarge it. On 9 February 1335, the pontiff sent a letter to the Dauphin of Vienne recommending that Abbey Fontfroide’s layman charge the purchase of timber for the Dauphine’s new palace.

He destroyed everything that his predecessor had built, and according to the plans of the architect Pierre Aubrery, he built the northern part of the apostolic palace, which he finished with the foundations of the Trouillas tower. The Reverend Apostolic Chamber – the Pontic “Ministry of Finance” – bought the palace built by Armand de Via to serve as the residence of the bishops of Avignon.

The designers chose Doms Rock to expand the palace. The choice of this rocky height allowed everything to be enlarged to make it more impressive, as well as to avoid the floods that regularly drowned much of the city at the time. Another important advantage was that the palace was visible from the top of the Alps, Dentinelle de Montreil and, above all, Villeneuve-le-Avignon, which was then the land of France, Avignon was the country of the empire.

But the main idea of this pontiff was to restore order in the Church and bring the Holy See to Rome. He was hardly chosen to cancel the sponsorship of his predecessor and send back to his diocese or abbey all the prelates and abbots of the court.
On July 6, 1335, when the envoys of Rome arrived in Avignon, he promised to return to the banks of the Tiber, but without giving a date. But the revolt of the city of Bologna and the protests of the cardinals put an end to his desires and persuaded him to remain on the banks of the Rhone. In the meantime, he spent four months of the summer in the palace built at Pont de Sorgue by his predecessor.
To supervise the work of his palace, in the spring of 1335 he sent for Pierre Peisson, the architect he had hired at Mirepoy, to reorganize the tower of the Angels and the northern papal chapel. Despite his austerity, Benedict XII even considered, on the advice of Robert d’Anjou, to hire Giotto to decorate the papal chapel. Only his death in 1336 prevented this project

On November 10, 1337, the Hundred Years’ War began. In Flanders, the English set foot on Cazan Island, while the French fleet offered to fight the King of England at Southampton. Benedict XII, his legates, requested a truce, which was accepted by both sides. However, this Franco-English conflict did not prompt the pope to build a fortified palace, but, from his election, the fear of Emperor Louis of Bavaria. Relations between the papacy and the Empire were extremely tense from October 8, 1323, John XXII fully declared that the Bavarian was a usurper and an enemy of the Church. Convened at Avignon to justify his support for the Visconti, he did not present himself and was excommunicated on March 23, 1324. In retaliation, Louis IV of Bavaria descended into Italy with his army to be crowned in Rome and even chooses an antipope in the person of Nicholas V, who deposed John XXII, renamed Jean de Cahors. Even if Benedict XII was more conciliatory, Avignon, which was in the country of the Empire, remained under threat, being infinitely safer than any other city in Italy.

It is this fortified building that is known today as the “old palace”. In it, the Pontifical Library was installed inside the Pope’s Tower with the Pontifical Treasure. Under the pontificate of the third pope of Avignon, it consisted of four sections: theology, canon law, civil law, and medicine.
In 1337, construction began on the Paris apartments in March; In May, reports from the Reverend Apostolic Chamber show that there were 800 workers in the workplace; In November, construction began on the large wing and south wing.

In 1338, the tower of Latrine and the small tower of Benedict XII were completed in July; In September, the Pontic apartments were ready, then they were frescoed by Hugo, the painter “after the Roman court” and Jean Dalban, and in December the construction of the monastery began.

By March 1339, its structure was completed. In August of the same year, construction began on the Campana tower and family wing; And in the last semester, the great work of the papal palace was completed, the kitchen and outbuildings were completed.
At the beginning of 1340, the design of the monastery was completed; In June, this was the completion of the pet wing that adjoined the Campana tower. It was there that the Emperor, kings, princes and dukes were served. In December, the completed Kampanskaya Tower was used as a place for the merchants “after the Riga Court”, the lower floor was used to store their goods. Finally, in August 1341, the Trouillas tower (pressoir) was started.

At the request of Cardinal Stefaneschi, Simone Martini, the most Gothic of Italian painters, considered the leader of the School of Siena, came with his wife Giovanna and his brother Donatus. He was a student of Duccio de Buoninsegna. Giacomo Stefaneschi, Cardinal of Saint George, took advantage of this to commission frescoes from the porch of Notre-Dame-de-Dome. Martinis started them in 1336. They were completed before the patron’s death in 1343.

New Palace of Clement VI
Clement VI entered the palace built for Benedict XII. He didn’t think it was enough. Jean du Louvre, the 60th named Lobière, was commissioned to build a new palace worthy of him. From the beginning of the summer of 1342, he opened a new building site and took up residence in the former auditorium of John XXII, in the middle of what was to become the Post of Honor, until it was destroyed in 1347.
He began his work on July 17, 1342, with the Tower of the Kitchen and the Tower of the Guard Garment. These two new towers were completed in May 1343. In the tower of the Kitchen there was a bottler, which was also used to set aside gold and silver dishes from the papal table to the treasury.

On March 4, 1345, construction began on the new palace (Opus Novum), and the Trouillas tower was finally completed in March 1346. At the end of the work on October 21, 1351, the general palace of the pope reached 6,400 m2. All those who saw the new palace at that time were impressed by the example of Jean Freussart, who considered it “the most beautiful and strongest house in the world.” A century later, Caesar de Nostradamus, the youngest son of Nostradamus, always admired his “proud and austere facade.”

With this new façade, the palace took on the aspect we know today. And Clement VI did not forget to place the coat of arms of Rogers on the main entrance above the new gates of Ciampeo. The heraldry thus describes this coat of arms: “Silver with a stripe of azure accompanied by six Goulet roses, three in an eagle, three in a group”.

But above all, the Pope had frescoed walls. Matteo Giovannetti, priest of Viterbo, pupil of the great Simone Martini, who died in Avignon, led important teams of artists from all over Europe.
Matteo Giovannetti began on October 13, 1344, the decoration of the chapel of St. Martial, which opens in the Great Tinel. It was completed on 1 September 1345. From January 9 to September 24, 1345, he decorated the oratory of Saint-Michel. In November 1345 he began frescoing the Grand Tinel, which he completed in April 1346. Then in 1347, from July 12 to October 26, he worked at the Consistory, then at the Saint-Jean chapel.

On June 9, 1348, Clement VI bought Avignon to Queen Jeanne for 80,000 florins, the city became independent from Provence and papal property such as Commat Venaissin.

Palace of the Popes after Clement VI
When Clement VI died in 1352, the financial resources of the Apostolic See were at their lowest. This was one of the reasons why his successors had to be content with minor work and decoration.
Giovannetti resumed his work in 1352. The prize of 12 November mentions the frescoes of the Prophets in the Great Hall of the Auditorium, the only paintings of Innocent VI’s pontificate. A year later, the pontiff fortified the south wing by building the Saint Laurent tower, and Gachet’s tower was erected.

In 1354, the fire that ravaged the Trouillas tower did not prevent the Saint Laurent tower from continuing to work. It was completed in 1356. Innocent VI, built in 1357, had a small covered bridge between the Petit Tinel and the northern sacristy. This bridge no longer exists because it was destroyed in 1811.

On November 6, 1362, in the chapel of the old palace, William Grimbord was crowned by Pope Étienne-Auduin Aubert, Cardinal of Ostia and nephew of the late pontiff. He took the name of Urbine V and announced upon his arrival at the palace: “But I don’t even have a piece of the garden to see how fruits grow, eat my salad and harvest grapes.” It was for this reason that he undertook, during his pontificate, costly works to enlarge the gardens. The one that adjoins the Pope’s palace on its eastern façade is always called the “Orchard of Urban V”.
In addition to the gardens of Urbain V, built by the architect Bertrand Nogayroll, a roma, a long one-story gallery perpendicular to the tower of the Angels. This was completed in 1363 and this date marks the end of the new palace’s architectural work.

The Pope was decorated by Matteo Giovannetti. His canvas paintings of the life of Saint Benedict began on 31 December 1365 and ended in April 1367. This gallery no longer exists today because it was destroyed by a military genius in 1837.

Pope’s Palace Sites
Gregory XI. Didn’t do any work on the palace. He brought the papacy to Rome, where he died in 1378. The conclave first assumed the papal throne of Urban VI. But the election was made under threats from the Romans, and the new pontiff, who was above all a violent character, was defeated by the cardinals, deposed him, and placed Saint Peter Clement VII on the throne. The great schism has just begun. Urban VI, who remained in Rome, Clement VII in Avignon settled in the palace of the popes.

He had a successor, Benedict XIII, elected on 28 September 1394, who promised to step down if necessary to end the Great Schism. His determination not to keep his word led to the first withdrawal of obedience from France and his allies on July 28, 1398. The pastor of Avignon then shut himself up in his palace, where the besieged Geoffroy-le-Mingre, Said Boucicault, arrived in September.

The kitchen of the Great Tinel was, during this first siege, the theater of invasion by the men of Busicaut and Raymond de Tourenne, nephew of Gregory XI. Martin Alpartils, a contemporary Catalan chronicler, recounts his coup. Culminating in penetrating the walls of the palace, climbing Durandol and the sewer tables in the kitchen, they occupied the spiral staircase that led them to the haute cuisine. Alerted, troops loyal to Benedict XIII fought them off by throwing stones at them, separated from the hood and inflamed fascines
This narrative is corroborated by the Avignon factor of Francesco di Marco Datini, the great merchant of Prato, to whom he wrote:

“Yesterday, October 25th, we were at table that evening when a Spanish knight entered and armed himself in the shop. We had 200 florins. »

Interviewed, the buyer indicated that he and his family would enter the palace through the sewers.
Interviewed, the buyer indicated that he and his family would enter the palace through the sewers.

“Short at midnight, 50-60 of the best of those who were there entered this palace. But when all these people were inside, the ladder is said to have fallen and it was discovered without their being able to go back. As a result, we were all taken prisoner, most of them were wounded, and one of them was killed. »

Factor attributes the failure of this coup d’état to the fever and precipitation of its authors:

“They were so eager to enter this palace, and God knows what a beautiful booty! Think there are over a million gold! For four years, this dad has always collected gold. They would all be rich and now they are prisoners who are hitting the city of Avignon. »

After three months of intense fighting, the siege dragged on and the blockade of the palace was resolved. Then, in April 1399, only the exits were left to prevent the rescue of Benedict XIII. The correspondence sent by Prato continues to keep the daily newspaper of the place that Avignon sees. A letter dated 31 May 1401 warned the former Avignon merchant of the fire in his former cell:

“On the last day of the last month, the night before, four houses burned before you, directly opposite the upper room in which you slept; And then the fire was chased by the wind in your room and burned it with a bed, curtains, some goods, scriptures and other things, because the fire was strong and happened at a time when everyone was sleeping, Could not get out of what was in your room, busy saving things of greater value. »
This November 13 informs the merchant about the shelling of his house:

“The man of the palace (of the pope) began to fire bombardment, here in the Changes and in the rue de l’Epiceri. Thank God, he threw a 25-kilogram stone at your roof, which removed a piece of it and came to the door without hurting anyone. »

Finally, despite the surveillance to which he was subjected, the pontiff managed to leave the palace and his city of residence on March 11, 1403, after a difficult five-year siege.

If Benedict XIII never returned to Avignon, he left his nephews Antonio de Luna with the office of the rector Comtat Venaisin and Rodrigo. The latter and his Catalans settled in the papal palace. On Tuesday, January 27, 1405, at the hour of vespers, the pyramidal tower of Our Lady of the Houses collapsed and crushed with its fall the ancient baptistery dedicated to St. John. The Catalans were blamed for this action and took advantage of it to create a platform on these ruins to set up their artillery.

Faced with the evidence of his uncle at the Council of Pisa in 1409, and the defection of Avignon and the Comtadins the following year, Rodrigo de Luna, who had become rector in his brother’s place, regrouped all his forces at the Palace of the Popes. For his safety, he continued to fortify the Rocher de Domes and to see possible attackers coming, he eventually demolished all the houses before the palace and thus formed the vast Plaza that is known today. The second siege was placed in front of the palace and was called in contemporary chronicles the “war of the Catalans”. This will last seventeen months. Finally, on November 2, 1411, the Catalans Rodrigo de Luna, hungry and desperate for help, agreed to go to the operator Francis de Conzi.

In Arls Bertrand Boysset notes about this in his diary in 1403 in the month of December all the houses located between the large and small palace were destroyed to facilitate the defense:

“In the year MCCCCIII, from December, January to May, the houses were destroyed, which were between the great and the small palace, up to the bridge of the Rhone; and then we began to build great walls on the Roque des Notre-Dame-des-Doms, through which were connected the great palace to the palace and the tower of the bridge, so that Benezey papa and others after him enter in and out of the palace. »

Meanwhile, in Pisa, the council elected a new pope, Alexander V. Although its goal was to end the schism, Christendom ended up with not two, but three popes. This pontiff, recognized by the Court of France, sent Cardinal Pierre de Touris to govern Avignon and Comtat. He received the title of Legate and Vicar from 1409 to 1410.

The case of Petrarch in the 14th century.
Petrarch, the great Italian poet, spent his childhood in Avignon. Although he was recruited by the papal court, he refused to avoid harsh criticism of the papal regime of Avignon. Thus, he denounces the pope’s luxurious and absolutist drifts. Moreover, the captivity of Babylon would be the expression used by the latter to summarize the feeling that is spreading, especially in Italy, about the papacy in Avignon.

How to get to Avignon, sightseeing tours, transfer from the hotel.

From Paris: TGV high-speed trains, plane Charles de Gaulle airport, Orly and Beauvais.

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