A contemporary redevelopment project
The City of Avignon, owner of the Palais des Papes and Avignon Tourisme, manager of the site, have long wanted the redevelopment of all the gardens of the Palais des Papes: the upper garden of Benedict XII and Clement VI and the lower garden, called orchard of Urban V, which is a public garden.
This project was entrusted to the Chief Architect of Historical Monuments Didier Repellin (RL&A. Agence Repellin Larpin et associés – Architects).
Study to better understand
Prior to the construction site, thanks to the financial support of Occitane, archaeological excavations were carried out in order to study the different stages of construction of the gardens. The built elements of the garden and the traces of development (posts, planting holes, paths, etc.), confronted with data from the archives have made it possible to complete the knowledge of these exceptional spaces that are the pontifical gardens, unique in their kind. in Europe.
The contributions of the project
The renovation of the Jardins du Palais is a very ambitious project with several aims: studying and redeveloping the monument; complete the visit circuit by reviving these gardens where vines, flowers, vegetables and aromatic plants grew; redevelop the Verger Urbain V into a welcoming public garden.
The redevelopment of these gardens, unique in Europe, opens up a new space to visitors and thus completes the vision they have of the Palais des Papes. The walk in the gardens is a new experience as part of this visit, a moment of relaxation in an open space that allows you to discover the eastern facade of the monument.
3 gardens, 3 atmospheres
The bias of the project is to evoke the very rich history of the site by the restitution of spaces, atmospheres, uses, by taking up the constants of the site which are the water, the pergolas, the vegetation and the architectural limits.
This complete redevelopment of the pontifical gardens, in the form of a contemporary reinterpretation, allows a better understanding of the whole of the Palace of the Popes, an exceptional Historic Monument listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Urban Orchard V
The project began in November 2017 with the restoration of the Verger Urbain V, a public garden since 1927. The redevelopment retained the passage leading to the Place de la Manutention and the size of the public garden. The Orchard has been structured into three areas: a dry fountain on the site of a fountain that has disappeared, a shaded terrace-orchard and a children's play area populated with animal sculptures.
The new papal gardens
The renovation was extended in 2018-2019 by the upper part of the gardens, accessible only as part of the visit to the monument. This redevelopment is structured in two areas: the Jardin du Palais (or Jardin Benoît XII) and the Jardin du Pape.
- The Palace Garden for which particular attention was paid to the XNUMXth century hydraulic network, of which there are many traces, and which was chosen as the structuring element of the design of the Palace Garden, delimiting the large rectangles where Mediterranean plant species attested in the XNUMXth century are planted in these pontifical gardens.
- The Pope's Garden is an intimate garden, which had direct access from the Pope's apartments. The redevelopment gives it back its precious character with the re-creation of the well-known griffin fountain through archaeological remains and the archives, as well as the flowery meadow that surrounded it. The famous and imposing Roma building, of which only a trace remains on the ground, but which is known from old drawings, has been reconstructed in the form of a monumental pergola which will eventually be entirely covered with plants.