Off to the “Provencial” part of France we go .. see what I did there?
Hahaha. The town is small but very much rich in the history of the Papacy and the scent lavender.
One of the oldest and the most important medieval gothic buildings in Europe is the Palais des Papes (Papal palace). It served as residence for the papal in the 14th century, and has underwent many demolishes, renovations and additions of sections in the palace throughout 350 years until Avignon was declared by France in 1791. During the French revolution it was used as military barracks and prison, as well as the front of the palace an execution ground. Today it is regarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Some Spanish vibes, don’t you think?
The time we visited, there were no lavenders to see in the fields since it only grows in full color and bloom during the summer.
I knew it was officially spring when I visited the Jardin des Doms which is a slope or two up from the Palais des Papes because of the life of the flora and fauna that surrounded us! We had a relaxing and tummy-filling Sunday lunch by the lake with the ducks, too. There is a small grotto which you can ascend to spot a scenic view of Avignon.
We got happy clicky when we went to the Pont d’Avignon. You can see how the bridge does not connect to the other side of the lake. About 1/4 of the bridge is what we see today and 3/4 was destroyed and rebuilt but collapsed from a flood afterwards. Somewhere in the middle of the 17th century the bridge became abandoned but later on altered, leaving some parts preserved. It is also classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Now this gives justice to the rich background of Avignon!
Next time I come back, I’d love to see the lavender fields! From sight-seeing to scent-smelling of my favorite fragrance, oh, how delightful that would be.