Relaxing in Avignon

Palais des Papes the Papal Palace

Avignon nestled within the Provence region of France is bursting with history, a unique city that is longing to be explored and a place that is sure to leave lasting memories for many years to come. Known for impressive mixes of architectural styles, delightful cuisine, history and art, Avignon is an exciting place to spend a while relaxing and to add even more splendour to your time in the city the surrounding areas of Provence provide a tranquil natural beauty that will lift the body, mind and soul. Diverse landscapes, lavender fields and a palette of colour and sunshine make this area of France even more alluring.

Set alongside the Rhône river Avignon is a city brimming with interesting places to explore and below are a few ideas to inspire you when it comes to planning a visit to Avignon.

Pont d’Avignon is a mythical 12th-century bridge crossing the Rhône with beautiful arches that reach over the ever-changing flows and currents of the river itself. The bridge when first built had 22 arches and was a total of 915 meters in length which is a pretty impressive feat when you think about the basic equipment and tools the workers would have had access to. It was during the 17th century when a flood caused excessive damage to the bridge that most of the arches were lost, even still what remains today is still a wonderful example of this fine craftsmanship. Don’t forget to look up the famous song that is inspired by this pretty little bridge.

The Palais des Papes is Avignon’s most recognised piece of architecture and is known all over the world for its significance. During the 14th century Avignon was the most important city in Europe as the Palais des Papes was the seat of the Catholic Popes and at the time was the largest piece of Gothic architecture in the world. This stunning example of Medieval Gothic architecture with arches, turrets, merlons and crenels cascades around you showing its importance and dramatic presence over the city.

Built to enhance the grandeur of the Palais des Papes the Papal Palace is a delightful square with the Petit Palais and the Hotel des Monnaies that reflect both Romanesque and Baroque architectural styles. The perfect place to meander and spend a while soaking up the eclectic mix of architecture and history.

Basilique Saint Pierre d’ Avignon is an impressive building but it isn’t until you enter inside that you see the real splendour and beauty this architectural wonder is holding. Walnut sculptured details provide a breath-taking entrance to this elegant Basilique and the arches, details and workmanship involved is truly beautiful. Renaissance and Baroque art can all be viewed within alongside the cardinal robes, hat and relics of St Pierre de Luxemburg.

Place de L’Horloge provides the perfect place to relax with a coffee and reflect on all that you have seen, named after the Avignon clock tower this square is home to the Opera House and City Hall. While relaxing pretty carousel music fills the air and during the summer months, performers entertain.

Collection Lambert was founded in 2000 by Lambert and is home to some of the finest contemporary pieces and artists. The unique and stunning spaces of the two 18th century hôtels that are home to the pieces Lambert donated set an impressive backdrop for the art and the collections of photography, video, sculpture and painting are all worth a look. With works from Cy Twombly, Sol Le Witt, Andres Serrano and many more this collection is varied and interesting.

There really is so much to see in Avignon and these ideas are only the starting point, whatever you choose to see and do remember that sometimes just walking around a new city is often the most relaxing and enjoyable way to discover its details and presence.