One of the most visited tourist attractions in Avignon is the Palace of the Popes.
A fact that I did not know before is that for a period of time during the 14th century the papal center was moved from Rome to Avignon, France.
In 1309, Pope Clement V, unwilling to face the violent chaos in Rome after his election, moved the papal center to Avignon. It remained there for 68 years, under 7 different popes, until Pope Gregory XI moved it back to Rome. This period became known as the Avignon Papacy.
Because of the turbulent times and the concern for safety, the palace constructed was more like a fortress.
This is the view of the palace from the front.
We toured the palace with our trusty audio guides. This is one of the court yards.
The nave of the chapel.
This is the back of the palace where the gardens were located.
The gardens are not so much today, but back in the day, there were exotic animals and birds from around the world there for the Popes' enjoyment.
Meet Pope Chuck.