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Palais des Papes

Built to house and protect France’s 14th-century popes, one of Europe’s largest Gothic palaces dominates Avignon’s skyline and cultural life.

The monumental Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) served as a fortress, residence, administrative center and place of worship. Heavily fortified with its turrets, high towers and thick walls, the palace was the headquarters of the Catholic Church during the 14th century when Rome was torn by political infighting. Today the palace is one of the most visited monuments in France and is the much-loved cultural center of modern day Avignon. 

One of the biggest buildings constructed during the Gothic period, the palace is about the size of four cathedrals. The high-ceilinged rooms and vast scale are a testament to the wealth and power of the Catholic Church. After the popes left Avignon, the palace was subsequently used as a military barracks and prison before becoming a museum in 1906.

There are more than 25 rooms to explore, and while many have been stripped of their furnishings, there is still much to see. To help you visualize what the palace would’ve looked like during the 14th century, rent a multimedia audio guide which are synchronized with films in different rooms that use 3-D imaging techniques.

The palace is filled with fabulous frescos. Examine the nature-inspired frescoes in the Papal Chamber, and depictions of the life of Saint Martial in the Saint Martial Chapel. View hunting and fishing scenes in the Stag Room, the chamber that served as Pope Clement VI’s study. Then venture onto the rooftop terraces for lofty views of the palace, the Rhône River and the city of Avignon.

The Palais des Papes is on the Place du Palais des Papes next to Avignon Cathedral. Regular guided tours are available throughout the year for an additional fee. Some are themed, such as "The Popes and their Pets" and "Secret Palace" tours and take you to rooms not open to the general public. For more details and to make a reservation, go to the palace’s official website. The palace grounds also host concerts and festivals throughout the year. 

The Palais des Papes is open every day of the year.


Top Hotel Deals

See all 3,418 Properties near Palais des Papes
Hotel de I'Horloge Rs7,035
Hotel de I'Horloge

Hotel de I'Horloge

1 Rue Felicien David, Place De I Horloge, Avignon, Vaucluse
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Avignon City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Rue de la Republique and Palais des Papes. Place de l'Horloge and Avignon City Hall are also within 5 minutes. Avignon Central Station is 10 minutes by foot and Villeneuve-les-Avignon Station is 21 minutes.

    Regina Hotel Rs5,188
    Regina Hotel

    Regina Hotel

    6 Rue De La Republique, Avignon, Vaucluse
       
      2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Avignon City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Rue de la Republique and Palais des Papes. Place de l'Horloge and Avignon City Hall are also within 5 minutes. Avignon Central Station is 9 minutes by foot and Villeneuve-les-Avignon Station is 21 minutes.

      ibis Avignon Centre Gare Rs4,063
      ibis Avignon Centre Gare

      ibis Avignon Centre Gare

      42 Boulevard Saint Roch, Avignon, Vaucluse
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in the heart of Avignon, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Collection Lambert and Place de l'Horloge. Palais des Papes and Musee du Petit Palais are also within 1 mi (2 km). Avignon Central Station is only a 2-minute walk.

        ibis Avignon Centre Pont de l'Europe Rs3,828
        ibis Avignon Centre Pont de l'Europe

        ibis Avignon Centre Pont de l'Europe

        12 Boulevard Saint Dominique, Avignon, Vaucluse
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in the heart of Avignon, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Place de l'Horloge, Palais des Papes and Avignon Cathedral. Parc des Expositions and Frigolet Abbey are also within 12 mi (20 km). Avignon Central Station is 7 minutes by foot and Villeneuve-les-Avignon Station is 26 minutes.

          Mercure Avignon Centre Palais des Papes Rs5,860
          Mercure Avignon Centre Palais des Papes

          Mercure Avignon Centre Palais des Papes

          1 Rue Jean Vilar, Avignon, Vaucluse
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Avignon City Centre, this hotel is steps away from Place de l'Horloge and Avignon Cathedral. Palais des Papes and Musee du Petit Palais are also within 5 minutes. Avignon Central Station is 11 minutes by foot and Villeneuve-les-Avignon Station is 20 minutes.

            Kyriad Avignon Palais Des Papes Rs4,852
            Kyriad Avignon Palais Des Papes

            Kyriad Avignon Palais Des Papes

            26 Place de l'Horloge, Avignon, Vaucluse
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Avignon City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Rue de la Republique and Palais des Papes. Avignon City Hall and Place de l'Horloge are also within 5 minutes. Avignon Central Station is 11 minutes by foot and Villeneuve-les-Avignon Station is 20 minutes.

              Hotel d'Europe Rs18,471
              Hotel d'Europe

              Hotel d'Europe

              12 Place Crillon, Avignon, Vaucluse
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                This family-friendly Avignon hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Rue de la Republique and Palais des Papes. Musee Juif Comtadin and Musee Calvet are also within 5 minutes. Avignon Central Station is 13 minutes by foot and Villeneuve-les-Avignon Station is 16 minutes.

                Les Clefs d Avignon Centre Place Crillon Rs2,372
                Les Clefs d Avignon Centre Place Crillon

                Les Clefs d Avignon Centre Place Crillon

                11 rue du Limas, Avignon
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Avignon City Centre, this apartment building is within a 5-minute walk of Rue de la Republique and Palais des Papes. Avignon City Hall and Place de l'Horloge are also within 5 minutes. Avignon Central Station is 14 minutes by foot and Villeneuve-les-Avignon Station is 17 minutes.