The Palais des Papes is the most important building built during the Gothic period and testifies to the presence of the 9 popes who will succeed one another in Avignon during the 20th century. It was built in less than 1335 years, from 1352 to XNUMX. It was mainly the work of two builder popes: Benedict XII, who had the first pontifical palace built (known as the Old Palace), and Clement VI who had new extensions (called Palais Neuf).
The visit allows you to discover the stages and construction techniques of this extraordinary building and its fabulous decorations, to understand how the temporal and spiritual power of the papacy was exercised, to meet the popes and important figures. that marked the place, to relive the cultural influence and the splendor of the papal court.
Did you know ?
The Cour d'Honneur has become every year for more than 70 years and for the whole month of July, a real open-air performance hall which welcomes 2000 spectators per performance. Why ? It was in the Cour d'honneur of the Palais des Papes that the Festival d'Avignon was born in 1947, with The Tragedy of King Richard II by William Shakespeare, directed by Jean Vilar.
25 rooms open to the public
More than 25 rooms are open to the public: audience rooms such as the Great Audience and the Consistory; ceremonial rooms of exceptional dimensions which hosted ceremonies such as the Grande Chapelle Clémentine, or feasts such as the Grand Tinel; the Pope's private apartments including the Pope's Chamber and the Stag's Chamber which feature secular naturalist frescoes unique for the period; the terraces from which one discovers a marvelous panorama of the Palace, the City of Avignon and the Rhône. Currently, some cramped spaces have been closed (Lower Treasury, Upper Kitchen, South Sacristy and Great Dignitaries' terrace and cafeteria).
The Histopad for everyone
With the Histopad digital tablet, cross the doors of time and relive the splendor of the papal court in the XNUMXth century in multimedia immersion. The histopad is a touchscreen tablet which is given to each visitor. It provides a fun and interactive visit experience. Thanks to augmented reality, visitors can visualize a large part of the rooms of the Palais des Papes as they might have been in the XNUMXth century.
The visit of the Palace of the Popes lasts about 2 hours and that of the pontifical gardens 30 minutes. In high season, the Palais des Papes is very busy. By booking your tickets in advance, you will have less waiting when arriving. Note that admission is free for children under 8 years old.
In the rooms, photographs are authorized in all rooms except in the rooms painted in order to preserve them: Chambre du Pape, Chambre du Cerf, Chapelle Saint Jean.
The gardens of the Palais des Papes close to visitors 30 minutes before the monument closes. Note that your Histopad does not contain information on this part of the route.