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Palais des Papes

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.


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See all 2,026 properties near Palais des Papes
La Mirande £406
La Mirande

La Mirande

4 Place De L Amirande, Avignon, Vaucluse
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Avignon City Centre, this luxury hotel is steps away from Avignon Cathedral, Place de l'Horloge and Palais des Papes. Rocher des Doms and Parc des Expositions are also within 9 mi (15 km). Avignon Central Station is 13 minutes by foot and Villeneuve-les-Avignon Station is 22 minutes.

    Hotel Le Cloitre St Louis
    Hotel Le Cloitre St Louis

    Hotel Le Cloitre St Louis

    20 Rue Du Portail Boquier, Avignon, Vaucluse
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      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 are also within 10 minutes. Avignon Central Station is only a 3-minute walk and Villeneuve-les-Avignon Station is 27 minutes.

      Hotel de I'Horloge £102
      Hotel de I'Horloge

      Hotel de I'Horloge

      1 Rue Felicien David, Place De I Horloge, Avignon, Vaucluse
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Avignon City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Rue de la Republique and Palais des Papes. Place de l'Horloge and Avignon City Hall are also within 5 minutes. Avignon Central Station is 10 minutes by foot and Villeneuve-les-Avignon Station is 21 minutes.

        Duplex Cool & Design proche du Palais des Papes £122
        Duplex Cool & Design proche du Palais des Papes

        Duplex Cool & Design proche du Palais des Papes

        7 Rue Puits des Allemands, Avignon, Vaucluse
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Avignon City Centre, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Place Pie and Palais des Papes. Rue des Teinturiers and Halles d'Avignon are also within 10 minutes. Avignon Central Station is 17 minutes by foot and Villeneuve-les-Avignon Station is 30 minutes.

          Hotel d'Europe £237
          Hotel d'Europe

          Hotel d'Europe

          12 Place Crillon, Avignon, Vaucluse
             
            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            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 and Musee Calvet are also within 5 minutes. Avignon Central Station is 13 minutes by foot and Villeneuve-les-Avignon Station is 16 minutes.

            Mercure Pont d'Avignon Centre
            Mercure Pont d'Avignon Centre

            Mercure Pont d'Avignon Centre

            Rue Ferruce Quartier Balance, Avignon, Vaucluse
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Avignon City Centre, this hotel is steps away from Palais des Papes, Avignon Cathedral and Rocher des Doms. Place de l'Horloge and Castle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape are also within 12 mi (20 km). Avignon Central Station is 14 minutes by foot and Villeneuve-les-Avignon Station is 19 minutes.

              Villa de Margot
              Villa de Margot

              Villa de Margot

              24 rue des 3 Colombes, Avignon, Provence - Alpes - Cote d'Azur
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Avignon City Centre, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of Eglise Saint Pierre and Palais des Papes. Rocher des Doms and Avignon Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Avignon Central Station is 17 minutes by foot and Villeneuve-les-Avignon Station is 25 minutes.

                La Divine Comédie - Demeure Privée & Spa £417
                La Divine Comédie - Demeure Privée & Spa

                La Divine Comédie - Demeure Privée & Spa

                16 impasse Jean-Pierre Gras, Avignon
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Avignon City Centre, this golf bed & breakfast is within a 10-minute walk of Eglise Saint Pierre and Palais des Papes. Rue de la Republique and Place Pie are also within 10 minutes. Avignon Central Station is 15 minutes by foot and Villeneuve-les-Avignon Station is 25 minutes.