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Beautiful Historical Avignon a Nice Place for a Walk

We went to Avignon so Shirley could shop, so I took the opportunity to walk around and see what was new or different after our long absence.

One of the first things I noticed, this was the first time in a long time that the Opera – Theater of Avignon didn’t look like there was reconstruction taking place.

The Opera – Theater of Avignon is located near the Pope’s Palace on Place de l’Horloge. Dating from 1825, the Opera was rebuilt in 1847 after a fire. The Opera – Theater offers music, dance, theatre and opera performances throughout the year.

The Pope’s Palace is a historical palace in Avignon, one of the largest and most important Medieval Gothic buildings in Europe. One time fortress and palace, the papal residence, was the seat of Western Christianity during the 14th century. Six papal conclaves were held in the Palace, leading to the elections of Benedict XII in 1334, Clement VI in 1342, Innocent VI in 1352, Urban V in 1362, Gregory XI in 1370, and Antipope Benedict XIII in 1394.

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Avignon Palais des Papes

Historical Avignon

Today, the city of Avignon is a large, sprawling urban centre with over 90,000 residents. Trains from Paris (2 1/2 hours), Marseille, and the French Riviera arrive at Avignon’s TGV station. From there, it’s a quick transfer to the historical centre, the old part of Avignon. The restored ramparts surround the ancient city, inside those massive stone walls – intramuros – lies a fascinating centre worth exploring.

le Pont d'Avignon Provence

©Paul Shawcross 2020

The other reason for Avignon’s fame is the famous bridge le Pont d’Avignon (Pont Saint-Bénézet) on the Rhône River. The French folk song “Sur le Pont d’Avignon” commemorates this bridge. First-time visitors are surprised by the partial bridge deck, with only 4 of  22 arches remaining from the medieval structure.

Cultural Avignon

For relatively small geography, the Avignon collection is immense. There are 1,200,000 works of art, objects of interest and archival documents. Avignon Musées is an initiative spearheaded by Cécile Helle Mayor of Avignon 1st Vice President of Greater Avignon. The concept showcases the incredible artistic heritage of the city via shared programming across five museums.

Collection Lambert Avignon Museums

Collection Lambert Avignon

Where to Stay near Avignon

Rent this beautiful stone house in the middle of Sablet, within walking distance of boulangerie, cafe, butcher, tabac (news store), grocery store, pharmacy and medical offices. Three (3) bedroom house with three (3) bathrooms which include showers and toilets. Large, well-furnished kitchen with a sitting area with wood burning fireplace and adjoining terrace. The master bedroom has an adjoining terrace. The house is air-conditioned and heated by electricity. Sablet is a wine village known for its Côte du Rhone wines. Although as charming as all “touristy” villages as a working wine village, shops and other village services are open year-round.

My Favourite Things About Provence France

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Michel and Shirley

Michel and Shirley

Michel and Shirley, live in wine country, in Windsor, California. They have a full family with two beautiful daughters and five amazing grandchildren. Michel's day job is as CEO of Chancellor Health Care, a company which provides housing and services to older adults.

Previously a co-owner of a popular French bistro called Bistro des Copains located in Western Sonoma County California. The Bistro was closed in early 2015, after nine years!

In 2008, after searching for years and visiting many houses they bought a 17th century stone village house in the medieval village of Sablet which is in the Vaucluse region of Provence France.

Please read about the Sablet House (available for rent) and follow their blog Our House in Provence.

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