Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Road to Avignon and the End

For the last excursion, we went to Avignon which in my opinion was a fitting end to an excellent trip. When we arrived it was a hot day, easily reaching the high 80's but that did not take away from the splendor of the location. The first site was a quick glimpse of the Pont d'Avignon also known as the Pont Saint-Bénézet, an ancient Roman bridge well-known throughout all France as a children's song, Sur le Pont d'Avignon. However, we had to continue on as today was a short trip and there was plenty to see. We continued on to the Cathédrale Notre-Dame des Doms d'Avignon or Cathedral of Our Lady of Doms also known as Avignon Cathedral. Like many other cathedrals in Southern France had Romanesque and Gothic influences with a massive golden statue of the Virgin Mary at its peak. Afterwards, we headed to the apex of our trip, the Palais des Papes, the Papal Palace which was home to popes for most of the 14th century. On its exterior was an expanse of towers and gargoyles which were awesome in stature. In its interior, we as a group could not resist exploring with a various faded painting, sculptures and intimidating halls more akin to hangars. After an exhausting trip, we enjoyed sweets at a nearby ice cream shop before heading to Montpellier probably for the last time. In retrospect, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that opened my eyes and can do the same for whoever wishes to see the greater world. And I say thank you to all that made it possible.
Pont d'Avignon

Cathédrale Notre-Dame des Doms d'Avignon 

Interior of Cathédrale Notre-Dame des Doms d'Avignon 

Statue of Virgin Mary

Citadel Group walking down the streets of  Avignon

Picture behind the Pont d'Avignon and the Rhone river

Front of the Palais des Papes

Cour d'honneur

One of the many damaged murals within Palais des Papes

The Grand Chapel

One of many gargoyles on the exterior of the palace 

Two tombs of the Avignon papacy