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Travel  »  Destinations

So Much To Do In Avignon

By: David Leonhardt

Date Added : August 9, 2011 Views : 562
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Avignon. The place most famous for a kids' play song in French, so well-known that even most English-speaking people have heard of It. Here are the lyrics:

Sur le pont
On y danse
On y danse
Sur le pont
On y danse
Tous en rond

And this is the translation:On the bridge of Avignon, there we dance, there we dance. On the bridge of Avignon, there we dance all in a circle.

But Avignon is known for weightier aspects. The Avignon papacy was perhaps the height of this city's fame and renown. From 1305 to 1378, seven popes called Avignon their home:

Pope Clement V: 1305–1314
Pope John XXII: 1316–1334
Pope Benedict XII: 1334–1342
Pope Clement VI: 1342–1352
Pope Innocent VI: 1352–1362
Pope Urban V: 1362–1370
Pope Gregory XI: 1370–1378

When France's candidate Clement V became Pope, he refused to move to Rome and instead moved the seat of the Church.

But Avignon, like the rest of society, has moved on since the Middle Ages, and today it is a popular tourism destination.

It is true that visitors do visit Avignon to see the UNESCO -certified World Heritage sites (including the celebrated Saint-Benezet bridge - you know, the bridge the children sing about, and the "Palais des papes" , which is Palace of the Popes in English and on display with some very popular summer time exhibitions for everybody).

Avignon is also known these days as a cultural center (having been named European Capital of Culture in 2000), where the celebrated Festival of Contemporary Theatre was born. Opera, live theatre and dance are the most best forms of artistic expression in the town. When the chill is in the air, culture really comes alive in Avignon. In January, it is Cheval Passion, a festival totally built around the love of horses, with live shows. In February, welcome to the “Hivernales de la danse” (a contemporary dance festival). In May,Avignon opens its doors for Alterarosa at the Palais des papes, a rose festival that boasts 20,000 visitors and the unveiling of new breeds of roses never before seen in public. The traditional Christmas market is always a a tasty treat.

Is Avignon easy to get to? If you were to form a triangle between the cities of Rome, Paris and Madrid, you would find Avignon dead-center. Under three hours from Paris on the TGV train, an hour from Lyon and half an hour from Marseilles (and the alluring French Riviera - ooh-la-la), Avignon makes a welcome day journey, and a more than worthwhiel2- to three-day stay.

Hotels and restaurants? There are plenty of both. Remember, this is France, so if you like French cooking, you will appreciate Avignon. But this is also Provence, so the pallet is decidedly "provençal". Provence is pretty much the farthest part of France from the capital, and with the Riviera serving as a metropolitan center in its own rite, the cuisine also carries its own mark.

no matter the season, no matter the reason, Avignon offers something marvellous for you.

Take the train to Avignon, the city rich in both history and culture. For TGV train schedules check the Paris-Avignon TGV schedules.

Article Source: So Much To Do In Avignon

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