Thursday, 16 February 2017

The Palais du Papes

Construction of this impressive Gothic palace began in 1252 and became the Pope's residence in 1309. Subsequent Popes added to the building between 1334 and 1364.

It was eventually an astounding 118,403 square feet! The Grand Chapel alone is 150 feet long.

In 1316,  500 church officials worked here, in addition to  1,000 lay workers.

But, in 1370 the decision was made to return the Papal centre to Rome.

The building served many other purposes in the following years, including a fort and prison, but thankfully has been resurrected and is now a world heritage site.

I loved my visit here, and was very impressed with how well organized and how informative tour was. I hope you enjoy the pictures!

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The Chartreuse: 14th century monastery

Founded by Pope Innocent VI in 1353 this monastery is located in Villeneuve-lez-Avignon, across the Rhone River from the city proper. It was built over the next twenty years in the Gothic style, and contains the tomb of Pope Innocent VI who died in 1362.

The monastery consists of the cloisters, 40 monks cells, the chapterhouse, refectory, laundry, herb garden, and " isolation cells " used for the sick, or monks being punished for transgressions. ...and of course the church.

Some of the site is in ruins, but much of it is in really good repair.   The gardens are lovely, and the setting spectacular, with the 12th century Fort St. Andrew looming above.......more on the fort later.

Hope you like the pictures. ...

Monday, 27 February 2017

Fort St. Andrew Avignon

In 1291 King Phillip IV  built Fort St. Andrew on what was then the border between France and the Holy Roman Empire. His ambition was to assert his power and expand the territory of France.  And, of course, Avignon was at the time the residence of the Pope's.  Although Philip did not live to see those results, Avignon and the rest of Provence became part of France.

When I was at the fort the walk along the ramparts, and the visit to the tiny chapel were much enhanced by the sight and scent of the numerous apple trees which were in full bloom.  Spring is very much in evidence here.  It's lovely!  There are photos. ...

Photos: February 11: Avignon
Photos: February 14: Avignon
Photos: February 17: Avignon
Photos: February 21: Avignon