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Avignon is the capital of the Vaucluse department in southeastern France. An important city since before Roman times, Avignon reached the height of its fame in the 14th century, when seven legitimate Popes (and a couple of pretenders) resided here. The Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes), now housing a museum, a convention center, and local government archives, is one of the most impressive examples of Gothic architecture in Europe, and the city fortifications built during this period are still visible. Other sights in Avignon include the 12th-century cathedral (Nôtre Dame des Doms), the ruins of the medieval Saint Bénézet ...

Avignon is the capital of the Vaucluse department in southeastern France. An important city since before Roman times, Avignon reached the height of its fame in the 14th century, when seven legitimate Popes (and a couple of pretenders) resided here. The Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes), now housing a museum, a convention center, and local government archives, is one of the most impressive examples of Gothic architecture in Europe, and the city fortifications built during this period are still visible. Other sights in Avignon include the 12th-century cathedral (Nôtre Dame des Doms), the ruins of the medieval Saint Bénézet bridge (the subject of a French childrens' song), and several fine museums. In the summer, modern Avignon is the home of an annual theatrical festival founded in 1947; year-round, visitors can enjoy shopping, nightlife, fine dining, and other cultural attractions. Avignon is also convenient to Marseille (for city lovers) and the Camargue (for outdoor adventures).

Juliette Rogers
About the Expert

Juliette Rogers is coauthor of the guidebooks Eating New England: A Food Lovers Guide to Eating Locally, Secret Providence and Newport, and two Thomas Cook guides on France.

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Juliette Rogers for Triporati

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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Year-round; in July, the theater festival makes things crowded.