Avignon, a city also known as the “City of Popes” for being inhabited largely by popes and antipopes, is a city of French commune. It is located on the south eastern side of France in the department of the Vaucluse. Avignon is the largest city and the capital of the department of Vaucluse.
Avignon is located on the left bank of the river Rhone, about 580 km south east of Paris, a place which is just a few kilometers above the confluence of river Rhone with Durance. It lies 229 km to the south of the city of Lyon and 85 km to the north-north-west of Marseille.
Avignon is one of the few cities of France that has preserved its culture and its historical remnants. One can still find the Rocher des Doms, the palace of the Popes preserved in good condition and the bridge of Avignon as well which has been honored by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
The city occupies a large area geographically but is not very populated and therefore, all the nature’s bounty is preserved in its original condition. Avignon experiences a Mediterranean climate which means damp and cool winters but dry summers. Windy weather is a characteristic of the climate of Avignon as Mistral the strongest wind is often experienced here.
As a major city of the Provence, Avignon is inhabited by nearly 200,000 people, of which nearly 16,000 live in the ramparts that have existed since the 14th century. The ramparts had been built to keep the invaders out when Avignon was under the Papal control. The palace of the Popes, ‘Le Palais des Papes’ is an imposing building and is also the largest Gothic edifice in the world.
Being situated at the confluence of two major rivers, Avignon occupies a prime position as a major center of trade and communication. The city is a beautiful confluence of the old and the new as there are new buildings and monuments standing close to each other.