Southern France kept surprising us. The weather was getting better and the towns just continued to be more and more beautiful.
We were eager to reach the Mediterranean Sea – which would be a huge milestone – but Avignon and the other beautiful cities made us want to slow down, and once we left we felt like we had still missed loads of what the cities had to offer.
Avignon were one of our favorite cities cycling down along the Rhône. We want to share some of its beauty with you in this photo essay.
Papal Palace and Religious Symbols in Avignon
Avignon were chosen by Pope Clement V as his residence in 1309 – instead of Rome. Until 1377, seven popes resided in Avignon and the period is known as the Avignon Papacy.
The Papal Palace still stands in Avignon and though Avignon is nothing like the Vatican, the palace is still a beautiful sight to see.
Close to the Papal Palace are lots of Catholic symbols and statues, and though we aren’t religious at all we really enjoyed the beautiful surroundings at the Papal Palace and the Palace in itself.
The Carming City
The area around the Papal Palace is amazing, but Avignon is so much more than that. It’s a small city but there’s lots of great atmosphere on the main street.
It’s filled with shops and small food stands where you can try some of the local treats. Getting closer to the Papal Palace is the old part of the city.
You’ll find a huge square with lots of cozy cafés, the architecture really French and full of soul. We loved this part of Avignon.
Rocher Des Doms Garden
When visiting the Papal Palace in Avignon, the garden right next to it, Rocher des Doms, is really worth a visit.
The lade who hosted us through couchsurfing recommended it for us and if she hadn’t told us about it, I’m not sure we would have visited it.
The garden is free and open all day. It has lots of nice flowers and is the perfect spot for a picnic. Also, the view over the Rhône River and the rest of Avignon is truly breathtaking. Located on a hill, this garden has the view of Avignon.
On of the things Avignon is most famous for – besides the Papal Palace – is the Medieval bridge, Pont Saint-Bénezet, also known as Pont D’Avignon.
It was build between 1177 and 1185, but has been damaged numerous times throughout history and after that rebuild. When the river flooded, the arches of the bridge would often collapse.
Now, the bridge stands half build and is one of the main sights to see in Avignon. We were told not to spend money to go out on the bridge, but instead just enjoy the sights from Rocher des Doms or for any other bridge in the city.
We found the best view of the bridge to be from Rocher des Doms, and just look at this shot:
Beautiful, huh!? The lights were really with us this day, and I feel like this photo almost looks like a painting. Ahh. Loved Avignon
Have you ever been to Avignon or do you want to?
Celia Schow is one of the founders of NomadicDanes.com. Her goal in life is to live a rich life full of experiences and great memories.