"Keeweechic's Avignon" Avignon by keeweechic
Avignon Travel Guide: 514 reviews and 1,497 photos
Now the capital of the department of Vaucluse, Avignon was one of the principal cities of the Cavares at the time of the Roman invasion. After the fall of the empire, Avenio belonged successively to Burgundians, Franks and Wisigoths. Twice taken by the Saracens and twice delivered by Charles Martel, it submitted to the Carolingians and became part of the kingdom of Arles and one of the principal towns of the marquisate of Provence. In the twelfth century, it set up an independent commune, electing its own consuls and surrounded itself with new walls and gates. Declaring for the Albigenses, it was taken by Louis VIII in 1226, though in 1251, it fell again under the counts of Provence. Scarcely anything remains of the ancient Avenio, except a few stones built in the walls and some mosaics in the Museum.
Central Avignon is enclosed by medieval walls, built by one of the nine popes who based themselves here throughout most of the fourteenth century, away from the anarchic feuding and rival popes of Rome. Avignon was a lively place when the papacy was here. Every vice flourished in the overcrowded, plague-ridden town, full of hangers-on to the papal court; according to Petrarch it was "a sewer where all the filth of the universe has gathered".
(c) keeweechic 2001 - 2006 (copyright)
Approaching Avignon, the first thing you see as you enter the city perimeters from the south are the walls and towers... more travel advice
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