Palais Des Papes is located in Avignon in France. This historic palace is the most important monument, one of the largest monuments in Europe with the medieval Gothic style. Avignon has a magnificent landscape on the banks of River Rhine. The construction of this Palace started in the year 1335 and took nearly 20 years for completion.
About the Palais Des Papes
The Cathedral and the impressive walls of the palace are surrounded by four mighty towers. The seat of Christianity during the 14th century, this popes’ Palace is large enough with almost 15000 square meters of floor space, which is almost equal to four large gothic Cathedrals. Due to the immense size the Palais became the place of central administration, creating a true central seat of powerful administration of the Church. There were almost 1000 lay officials working within the Palais in the 14th century.
Despite of all these aspects the Palais was abandoned and the Pope felt it necessary to go back to Rome. In spite of the strong opposition from the Court of France and College of Cardinals, both popes found it imminent to return to Rome which was eventually done. Since 1995 Palais Des Papes and the historic center of Avignon was classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site and was classified under cultural criteria i, ii and iv.
The Palais has two buildings the old palace of Benedict XII and the other new Palais of Clement VI. The oldest one being on the rock of Doms and the other is the example of the exquisite international Gothic architecture. There is papal library there for the interested clerics. This library was the largest in those days holding more than 2000 volumes.
The Palais Des Papes was the Palace of Pope, one time fortress and the seat of the highest authority, the papal residence was the seat of Christianity in the 14th century. The palace has more than 20 rooms and the visitors can see the exhibits of the scenes of the historic events, and the frescoes painted by the Italian artist Matteo Giovannetti. The visitors can also take a trip of pope’s private chambers, the Palace also organizes many cultural activities which are held continuously.
Today, the Palais is a place of tourist attraction and the fact that there were almost 650,000 visitors per year to this site shows that this is the most visited monument in France. The Palais is also the place for the International Congress Center, which was established in 1976, and the largest room ‘Grande Audience’ with the capacity to hold almost 700 spectators, hosts plenty of events every year like the symposia, reunions and other gatherings.
Due to the size, its architectural significance and historic importance the Palais serves as an exhibition center. There is a major art exhibit displayed in the Great Chapel during the summer from June 9 to November 11, so also the courtyard of the Palais Des Papes is the main location for performing the prestigious Avignon Theater Festival during the month of July.
The Palais Des Papes is open for the visitors between 9.00 AM to 7.00 PM and it is indeed worthwhile to visit when in France.