The city of Avignon is the capital of the Vaucluse and the Côtes du Rhône, Avignon is a city filled with a rich heritage.
As soon as you enter Avignon, you will be impressed by the sumptuous ramparts that have encircled the entire historic heart of the city (4.3 km of ramparts) since the 14th century. Avignon has the 2nd longest continuous wall after the Chinese wall.
You've probably already heard about these two monuments: the Popes' Palace and the Saint Bénezet bridge known as the Pont d'Avignon, which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. They intrigue a lot the inhabitants as well as the tourists by their beautiful restorations.
The palace of the popes testifies of great importance, its construction began in the 14th century and it quickly became the largest Gothic monument in Europe.
During your visits in the city of Avignon, you will be amazed by the superb architectural elements in the private apartments, mansions and town houses. Magnificent frescoes will guide you all along your walk.
Entering inside the ramparts, you will enjoy beautiful picturesque scenery with beautiful village houses perfectly restored. You will arrive very quickly at the Place de l'horloge, the main meeting place between the inhabitants and the shopkeepers. Several shops and restaurants surround this square and border the main street of the Republic which gives access to the station of Avignon centre (TGV), this street divides the city into two districts.
The intra-muros or the center of Avignon is the district which is located inside the ramparts. All the buildings inside are therefore more or less old giving all this charm to the city of the Popes. Many facades have been redesigned especially near the Rue de la République. During the Second Empire, several private mansions, village houses and old buildings had to transform their façades in a Haussmann style, to give a bourgeois character to these buildings.
Nearly 130 mansions were built in the historic centre of Avignon between the 15th and 18th centuries and bear witness to a rich aristocratic architectural heritage. Many mansions are located on the rue Joseph Vernet but also rich properties and shops. You will be able to glimpse some sublimely tree-lined courtyards. You will be impressed by the former 16th century mansion of the Marquis de Graveson by its complete restoration; it has become the Hôtel d'Europe. The mansions have now become large properties, town houses with garden or terrace, or private apartments.
But also, the private mansion of the Laurens family built in the 16th century inspired the Gothic style and then redesigned in the 17th century with a wonderful gypsum ceiling in the entrance hall and a beautiful staircase with stone balusters gives it a very warm atmosphere.
More on the south-east side, you will have the popular district sheltering Les Halles, this large covered market with a magnificent green wall. Other markets are all equally convivial on the Place des Carmes open at weekends. Many districts underline the culture of this city like the main street of the Dyers, a street all in pavement dating from the Middle Ages. There you will find several artists and musicians.
Other squares are just as lively, such as the Palace Square or the Place Pie, where you can enjoy a nice evening in one of the trendy bars.
You know Avignon with its big Avignon festival organized every year in July, where many artists, actors, musicians come to entertain a national and international clientele. Also as an event the Cheval passion show, recognized for the equestrian creation in Europe. Avignon is a true French artistic and cultural showcase.
The extra-muros, all the districts outside the ramparts such as the Barthelasse island, the West district, the North district, the East district and the Montfavet district reveal a beautiful expansion of this city. Many buildings have been built with a much more modern architecture.
Artists intermingle in the different museums of the city of art. Between the contemporary, the museum of Fine Arts, archaeology or period furniture; you will certainly find what you are looking for.
Right next to the Popes' Palace, you will gain height by climbing up to the Doms Rock accompanied by these swans and peacocks in a large pool. You will enjoy a remarkable view of Avignon and its surroundings as well as of the Rhone River. In love with nature, you will take the sea on the Barthelasse island: many walks will satisfy you.
Several shopping centres have sprung up on the outskirts of the city (Le Pontet - Mistral 7 - Cap Sud - La Courtine), each one scattered on either side of the city.
Given the size of the city, an airport as well as two TGV train stations will allow you to travel freely to the different strategic places in France, Paris, Lyon and Marseille. Who says attractive city, says tourists ! A large network of bus, tramway and bicycle will make you travel to take advantage of the beautiful places and landscapes offered by the city of Avignon.
Avignon has also been able to meet the expectations of young people by allowing them to study in this beautiful city. Several universities, including Agroparc, which groups together many fields of study (Biology - Medicine - Marketing - Management - Agriculture - History - Literature) have found their place.
Beautiful villages around Avignon are to be visited: Villeneuve lez Avignon - Pernes Les Fontaines - Vaison la Romaine. These villages offer magnificent walks and impressive viewpoints.
Villeneuve lez Avignon is located at the gates of Avignon connected by the bridge St Bénézet. It shows great power by sheltering the Saint-André fort and its abbey. This suburb of Avignon has a warm historical heart with lots of green spaces. You will surely come to visit the Carthusian monastery of the Val de Benediction dating from the 14th century and embalmed with a sweet jasmine fragrance. You will be able to see the magnificent oil mill of the Chartreuse in the heart of the village. Villeneuve-Lès-Avignon is a very appreciated and much sought-after village, where the inhabitants lead a peaceful life. A beautiful natural panorama can be observed there, a promontory allows to admire the city of the popes as well as the mountains in the surroundings like the Mont Ventoux or the Alpilles. As you stroll through the streets of the old village, you will discover many restored or to be restored village houses, superb apartments in hotels and private buildings.
As you move away from this old village of more modern houses, villas will stand on your way and at the limits of Villeneuve-Lès-Avignon, mas and properties with swimming pool and large garden.
A town where it is good to live in all seasons thanks to its gentle way of life and quality of life.