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Palais des Papes
Holiday Travel Guide

Palais des Papes featuring heritage elements and heritage architecture

Built to house and protect France’s 14th-century popes, one of Europe’s largest Gothic palaces dominates Avignon’s skyline and cultural life.

The monumental Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) served as a fortress, residence, administrative center and place of worship. Heavily fortified with its turrets, high towers and thick walls, the palace was the headquarters of the Catholic Church during the 14th century when Rome was torn by political infighting. Today the palace is one of the most visited monuments in France and is the much-loved cultural center of modern day Avignon.

One of the biggest buildings constructed during the Gothic period, the palace is about the size of four cathedrals. The high-ceilinged rooms and vast scale are a testament to the wealth and power of the Catholic Church. After the popes left Avignon, the palace was subsequently used as a military barracks and prison before becoming a museum in 1906.

There are more than 25 rooms to explore, and while many have been stripped of their furnishings, there is still much to see. To help you visualize what the palace would’ve looked like during the 14th century, rent a multimedia audio guide which are synchronized with films in different rooms that use 3-D imaging techniques.

The palace is filled with fabulous frescos. Examine the nature-inspired frescoes in the Papal Chamber, and depictions of the life of Saint Martial in the Saint Martial Chapel. View hunting and fishing scenes in the Stag Room, the chamber that served as Pope Clement VI’s study. Then venture onto the rooftop terraces for lofty views of the palace, the Rhône River and the city of Avignon.

The Palais des Papes is on the Place du Palais des Papes next to Avignon Cathedral. Regular guided tours are available throughout the year for an additional fee. Some are themed, such as "The Popes and their Pets" and "Secret Palace" tours and take you to rooms not open to the general public. For more details and to make a reservation, go to the palace’s official website. The palace grounds also host concerts and festivals throughout the year.

The Palais des Papes is open every day of the year.

Top Trending Hotels Near Palais des Papes

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4 out of 5
10 CHEMIN DE LA BARTHELASSE, Avignon
The price is £46 per night from 25 May to 25 May
Situated on the riverfront, this campsite is within 1 mi (2 km) of Rocher des Doms, Place de l'Horloge and Palais des Papes. Avignon Cathedral and Fort St-Andre ...
4.1/5Very Good! (19 reviews)
"the swimming pool was lovely, it was useful having a free ferry to avignon city centre. the restuarant was overpriced and the food was terrible."

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Hotel Le Cloitre St Louis
Hotel Le Cloitre St Louis
4 out of 5
20 Rue Du Portail Boquier, Avignon, Vaucluse
The price is £106 per night from 19 May to 19 May
Located in Avignon City Centre, this romantic hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Rue de la Republique and Palais des Papes. Collection Lambert and Musee Calvet ...
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"Great location, great room - very spacious. Didn’t like Handheld shower in bath"

Reviewed on 18 Sep 2020

Hotel Le Cloitre St Louis
Hotel d'Europe
Hotel d'Europe
5 out of 5
12 Place Crillon, Avignon, Vaucluse
The price is £329 per night from 22 May to 22 May
This family-friendly Avignon hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Rue de la Republique and Palais des Papes. Musee Juif Comtadin ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (476 reviews)
"No beverages available in the Roomservice, Oney small"

Reviewed on 16 Aug 2020

Hotel d'Europe
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Camping Du Pont D'Avignon
Camping Du Pont D'Avignon
4 out of 5
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The price is £46 per night from 25 May to 25 May
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4 out of 5
20 Rue Du Portail Boquier, Avignon, Vaucluse
The price is £106 per night from 19 May to 19 May
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The price is £329 per night from 22 May to 22 May
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Mercure Avignon Centre Palais des Papes
Mercure Avignon Centre Palais des Papes
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Kyriad Avignon Palais Des Papes
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3 out of 5
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The price is £62 per night from 30 May to 30 May
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Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.