|"Sur le pont d'Avignon. . ."|
|The Papal Palace|
Years ago on our first visit to Avignon, I ended up driving across the main plaza between restaurants and their outside seating. The waiters had to pull the menu boards out of the way for me to pass. I was mortified at my faux pas though the waiters seemed unfazed. This time, we didn’t even enter the old city in the car but rather parked outside the wall and walked in. Much better plan.
Avignon secured a position on the map and in the travel books with the relocation of the papal court in the 14th century. The papacy stayed for about 100 years when the pope (Gregory XI) was persuaded to return to Rome. When that pope died in Italy, an Italian pope replaced him. The French cardinals returned to Avignon and elected a French pope, Clement VII, which resulted in a nasty division over control of the catholic church and its riches. Peace was made with the election of Martin V in 1417, and Avignon remained the property of the church until the French revolution in 1791.
|Giovanni di Paolo mid-1400s|
|Bartolomeo Caporali mid-1400s|
|Taddeo di Bartolo 1362|
Phil and I had a coffee at the little café in an open courtyard. Soon after the coffee arrived at our table, we were forced to move inside as the skies opened up threatening to dilute our coffee. The deluge didn't last long, we finished our coffee and returned to where we had left the exhibit and to catch up to Cindy.
Hôtel de Ville
|Cleaning the Duke|
The Grand Tinel is a room used for grand feasts, including the coronation of a new pope or appointment of a cardinal. "Tinel" is derived from the Latin word for barrel or cask. In 1342 Clement VI received 3,000 guests to enjoy a repast including a jaw-dropping amount of food.
|The Grand Tinel|
Before leaving the Palace, we made our way up to get a bird's-eye view of the Virgin Mary atop the cathedral.
|Leaving the Papal Palace|
|Welcome by the trompe l'oeil|
October is a better month to make a visit as some say that Avignon is the most frequently-visited monument in France; and most of those visitors make an appearance in the summer. Unless Clement's ghost sets out a feast for you, perhaps you should consider a cooler season.