So why did we go all the way down to the south of France only to stop in Avignon? Good question. Actually I didn’t even quite know the answer until we got there, other than having heard from Stephanie that it was cute and old and a place she’s wanted to see. Good enough.
After we finished our pizza, I learned that the primary reason for going to Avignon is the Palais des Papes (palace of the popes, or Pope Castle 1309, as I liked to think of it).
It turns out in the 12th century, things were not to hot in Rome for the pope, so Pope Clement V decided to move the papacy (the center of all Christendom, as my audio tour device liked to call it), to Avignon, from March 9, 1309 till January 13, 1377. Seven popes resided there during that 68 year period. Who knew? So for a few hours Tuesday afternoon (March 20th) we walked around the palace, listening to audio excerpts from room to room.
At this point let me turn you over to the Wikipedia article on the Avignon Papacy, in case you’re curious to know more. Here though, are a few pictures I took along the tour.