Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Trip to Avignon - Wednesday January 2, 2013

Arnold and Jennifer on train
Arnold was at the drugstore at 8:30 when it opened to get more medicine for Jennifer and himself. Connie seemed better. After breakfast (croissants, tea, coffee, and bread) we headed for the SNCF station and Avignon.
St benedict bridge in Avignon, France
We arrived in Avignon about 13:00, went to the Tourist Office, then had lunch. Our first tourist stop was Pont Saint Bénezet. The bridge was built between 1171 and 1185, suffered damage from floods several times and then rebuilt. At one time it had 22 arches. There are only 4 that remain. The 1668 flood almost destroyed the entire bridge and it has not been rebuilt since then. In the middle ages it was the only bridge across the Rhone River.
St benedict bridge toll booth in Avignon, France

At one end was a toll booth which collected levies on those who used the bridge. Revenues were used to support the hospital which was lodged in this tower.
Pope's Palace,  Avignon, France

After visiting the bridge (but not using it), we went to the Palace of the Popes. Rick Steves suggested that we get an audio guide to help understand "the barren papal palace …[and]…the complete lack of furnishings."
Pope's Palace,  Avignon, France

The palace is huge. Like all palaces it has been extended and enlarged many times. It was built quickly in the early 1300s after the French pope felt more secure in France tan in Italy where the pope was expected to be Italian.
Pope's Palace,  Avignon, France

The Church bought the town of Avignon and moved the entire papacy (500 plus personnel) to Avignon. There continued to fortify the Palace of the Pope until the papacy was returned to Italy in 1403.
Pope's Palace,  Avignon, France

The pictures you see here will give you a flavor of the palace but only a flavor. We thought Rick Steves did not do the Pope's Palace justice with his less than enthusiastic description.
Pope's Palace,  Avignon, France

After our somewhat brief visit to Avignon we returned to Montpellier, had dinner, and retired for the evening.

No comments:

Post a Comment