Palais des Papes
Place du Palais, 84000 Avignon, France
| +33 4 32 74 32 74
Photo by Alain Hocquel/Vauclause Tourisme
Sun - Sat 9am - 7pm
Palais des PapesThe largest Gothic palace in Europe and a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, the Palais des Papes was built when the papal power was transferred to Avignon because of political unrest in Rome. Construction on the 160,000-square-foot palace began in 1335 and took less than 20 years to complete under the leadership of Benedict XII and his successor Clement VI. During the French Revolution in 1791, the palace was ransacked, and the dead bodies of anti-revolutionaries were thrown into the deep latrines. Later, Napoléon and his army used the massive building as barracks and even stables. It wasn’t until 1906 that the palace became a public museum.
Today, visitors can stroll through the cloisters, papal bedrooms, and private chapels, marveling at the 14th-century frescoes as they go. To enhance your experience, your ticket comes with an interactive Histopad, which uses augmented reality and 3-D technology to show several of the palace’s 25 rooms as they were during the 14th century. Guided tours are also available, but only in French.