Historic Centre of Avignon: Papal Palace, Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge

Historic Centre of Avignon: Papal Palace, Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge

In the 14th century, this city in the South of France was the seat of the papacy. The Palais des Papes, an austere-looking fortress lavishly decorated by Simone Martini and Matteo Giovanetti, dominates the city, the surrounding ramparts and the remains of a 12th-century bridge over the Rhone. Beneath this outstanding example of Gothic architecture, the Petit Palais and the Romanesque Cathedral of Notre-Dame-des-Doms complete an exceptional group of monuments that testify to the leading role played by Avignon in 14th-century Christian Europe.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Centre historique d’Avignon : Palais des papes, ensemble épiscopal et Pont d’Avignon

Cette ville du midi de la France fut le siège de la papauté au XIVe siècle. Le palais des Papes, forteresse d'apparence austère somptueusement décorée à l'intérieur par Simone Martini et Matteo Giovanetti, domine la cité, sa ceinture de remparts et les vestiges d'un pont du XIIe siècle sur le Rhône. Au pied de ce remarquable exemple d'architecture gothique, le Petit Palais et la cathédrale romane Notre-Dame-des-Doms achèvent de former un exceptionnel ensemble monumental qui témoigne du rôle éminent joué par Avignon dans l'Europe chrétienne au XIVe siècle.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

وسط أفينيون التاريخي: قصر الباباوات، مجموعة أسقفية، وجسر أفينيون

كانت هذه المدينة الواقعة جنوب فرنسا مركز البابوية في القرن الرابع عشر. وسيطر قصر الباباوات، وهو كناية عن قلعة ذات شكل بسيط، عمل على تزيينها من الداخل سيمون مارتيني وماتيو جيوفانيتي، على المدينة ونطاق أسوارها وآثار جسر يعود للقرن الثاني عشر على نهر الرون. وعلى قدم هذا المثال الرائع للهندسة القوطية، شكّل القصر الصغير والكاتدرائية منذ البداية مجموعةً تذكارية رائعة تدلّ على الدور البارز الذي لعبته أفينيون في أوروبا المسيحية في القرن الرابع عشر.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

阿维尼翁历史中心:教皇宫、主教圣堂和阿维尼翁桥

这座位于法国南部的城市是14世纪罗马教皇的居所。教皇宫其实就是一个装饰豪华却外表朴素的城堡,由西蒙·马蒂尼和马泰奥·焦瓦内蒂(Simone Martini and Matteo Giovanetti)装修而成,占据了这座城市绝大部分面积,周围是坚固的城墙和12世纪隆河桥的遗址。在卓越的哥特式建筑之下,小宫殿和圣母院的罗马式主教堂古迹实属罕见,证明了阿维尼翁在14世纪基督化欧洲所发挥的领导作用。

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Исторический центр города Авиньон

В XIV в. этот город на юге Франции был резиденцией пап. Папский дворец – мрачно выглядящая крепость, щедро украшенная художниками Симоне Мартини и Маттео Джованетти, – доминирует над городом, его укреплениями и остатками моста XII в. через реку Рона. Несколько ниже дворца, шедевра готической архитектуры, расположены Малый дворец и романский кафедральный собор Нотр-Дам-де-Дом, завершая формирование выдающегося ансамбля памятников, свидетельствующих о ведущей роли Авиньона в христианской Европе XIV в.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Centro histórico de Aviñón: palacio de los papas, conjunto episcopal y puente de Aviñón

Situada en el sureste de Francia, la ciudad de Aviñón fue sede de los papas en el siglo XIV. El palacio de éstos –una fortaleza de aspecto austero suntuosamente decorada en su interior por Simone Martini y Matteo Giovanetti– domina la ciudad, las murallas y los vestigios de un puente del siglo XII sobre el río Ródano. Junto con el Pequeño Palacio y la catedral románica de Notre-Dame-des-Doms que se alzan a sus pies, la residencia papal, obra notable de la arquitectura gótica, forma un extraordinario conjunto monumental que atestigua el importante papel desempeñado por Aviñón en la Europa cristiana del siglo XIV.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

アヴィニョン歴史地区:法王庁宮殿、司教関連建造物群及びアヴィニョン橋
フランス南東部にある都市。14世紀には教皇庁がこの地におかれ(アヴィニョン捕囚)、ゴシック様式の教皇宮殿が築かれ、マルティーニやジョヴァネッティが装飾を行った。ロマネスク様式のノートルダム教会、民謡で有名なサン・ベネゼ橋などがる。

source: NFUAJ

Historisch centrum van Avignon: pauselijk paleis, bisschoppelijk complex en brug van Avignon

Avignon was in de 14e eeuw de zetel van het pausdom. In deze stad in het zuiden van Frankrijk ligt het pauselijk paleis, een sober ogend fort dat overdadig versierd is door Simone Martini en Matteo Giovanetti. Het gebouw domineert de stad, de omliggende wallen en de overblijfselen van een 12e-eeuwse brug over de Rhône. Aan de voet van dit mooie voorbeeld van gotische bouwkunst, liggen het Petit Palais en de romaanse kathedraal van Notre-Dame-des Doms. Zij completeren een uitzonderlijke groep monumenten die getuigen van de leidende rol van Avignon in het 14e-eeuwse christelijke Europa.

Source: unesco.nl

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Historic Centre of Avignon: Papal Palace, Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge (France) © Editions Gelbart
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

Located on the banks on the Rhône River in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur region, Avignon is known as the City of the Popes. Its historic centre, comprising the the Papal Palace, the Episcopal ensemble and the Avignon Bridge, is an outstanding example of medieval architecture.  Resulting from an exceptional episode in history, which involved the seat of the Church leaving Rome for a century, it played a major role in the development and diffusion of a particular form of culture throughout a vast region of Europe, during a time of primordial importance in the establishment of sustainable relations between the papacy and the civil authorities.

The massive Papal Palace, “the most well-fortified house in the world” as described by the writer Froissart, forms with the city and the Rocher des Doms a homogeneous ensemble and outstanding landscape. Inside the Palace, the intricate painted decor of the 14th century reflects the brilliance of the papal court and its artistic ambitions.

It is one of the most magnificent edifices of Gothic architecture of the 14th century. To the north is the Palais Vieux (Old Palace) built in the reign of Benedict XII; to the south is the Palais Neuf (New Palace) built by his successor, Clement VI, which houses the papal chapel.

The most characteristic elements of the Palais Vieux are the vast Consistory Hall leading to the Chapel of St John, decorated by Giovannetti, and above it the Tinel, or Feast Hall, decorated by the same artist. Two towers rise to the north of this wing of the palace, including the Trouillas Tower (at a height of 52 m), one of the highest medieval towers. The palace also houses the private papal apartments. The day room of Clement VI, the Stag Room, is decorated with very important frescoes representing rustic scenes. This room gives access to the Great Chapel of the Palais Neuf; its heavy vault is braced by a massive flying buttress that spans the neighbouring street. The west wing of the Palace, known as the Wing of the Great Dignitaries, is occupied by the Grande Audience (Great Audience Chamber) or Hall of Justice.

The Cathedral of Notre-Dame des Doms, lying to the north of the Papal Palace, dates from 1150. The Gothic chapels were added between the 14th and 17th centuries: the apse was demolished and rebuilt in an enlarged form in 1671-72, work which resulted in the destruction of the medieval cloister.

The Petit Palais (Small Palace), begun in 1317, was originally the residence of the bishops of Avignon. It was later expanded during the 14th and 15th centuries.

At the foot of the north side of the Rocher des Doms, the ramparts, the Tour des Chiens (Dog Tower), Châtelet (Gatehouse) constitute the defences of the city.

Only four of the twenty-two original arches that comprised the Saint Bénézet Bridge have survived. The Chapel of St Nicolas, partly Romanesque and partly 15th century, occupies part of the second pier.

Criterion (i): The ensemble of the monuments of the Historic Centre of Avignon offers an outstanding example of ecclesiastical, administrative and military medieval architecture.

Criterion (ii): The Historic Centre of Avignon testifies to an important exchange of influences that radiated throughout a wide area of Europe during the 14th and 15th centuries, in particular in the field of art and architecture.

Criterion (iv): The Historic Centre of Avignon is an outstanding group of late medieval buildings associated with an important episode in the history of the Papacy.

Integrity

The monumental urban ensemble, located in the heart of the historic city, has retained its integrity despite the vicissitudes of history. The Papal Palace, which became the Legates’ and Vice-Legates’ Palace, was then tranformed into barracks after the Revolution, and reverted at the beginning of the 20th century to a use consistent with its dignity and its history. The Cathedral of Notre-Dame des Doms has conserved its function and its integrity. The Saint Bénézet Bridge, with its history closely linked to the humours of the river, still retains its gatehouse access and four arches sufficiently well preserved to testify to its history and its importance. 

Authenticity

Overall, despite the accidents of history, the edifices that comprise the Historic Centre of Avignon have retained sufficient authenticity to enable the appreciation of the architectural coherence and to express the Outstanding Universal Value that it represents.

The Papal Palace, despite many alterations, has regained a certain authenticity thanks to various restoration campaigns that enabled, among others, the safeguarding of the priceless painted decor of the Papal apartments and the Saint-Martial Chapel. The Episcopal Palace had an identical destiny, while the cathedral, despite transformations during the Baroque period, has preserved its architectural integrity.

Requirements for management and protection

The Papal Square, the Small Palace, the ramparts, the St Bénézet Bridge, the garden and the Promenade des Doms belong to the commune; the Papal Palace is also municipal property, with the exception of the north-west part, including the Chapel of Benedict XII and the Trouillas Tower, which belong to the Department of Vaucluse. The Cathedral of Notre-Dame des Doms belongs to the State.

All the buildings of the property are protected under the Heritage Code, and some have already been included on the Historic Monuments List since 1840.

The Garden of the Rocher des Doms is a listed site since 1933. Avignon intra-muros is an exceptional heritage site, with its safeguarding and enhancement plan approved in 2007. The Papal Palace, the Episcopal ensemble and the St Bénézet Bridge are listed as Historic Monuments.

The management system of the property involves many actors, the State and the City being the principal managers according to their competences. The municipality coordinates this management in consultation with the management committee of the property, comprising these different actors.

A buffer zone and management plan project is under study.