History time folks. In the 14th century, Pope Clement V and his court fled political turmoil in Rome, escaping to Avignon. Clement V was French and well, where else would he go? From 1309 to 1377 there were seven French-born popes and the papacy was not in Rome, but in Avignon. Yep, the place with the bridge into the river, the Pont du Gard.
The Popes spent a fortune building palaces, decorating them and outfitting them with accouterments. You can still see some of it today (and learn a little bit about the history) by touring the papal palaces.
The Papal palace was built between 1335 and 1364.
Needless to say, the Italians weren’t huge fans of the move and continually lobbied to get them back to Rome. There was the Great Schism (which you may remember reading about in high school). When Pope Gregory XI left Avignon and died, Rome and Avignon both elected their own popes. These popes both excommunicated the other and tried to gain control of the church (with the accompanying revenues). When all sides finally found a pope acceptable to all, Martin V, he established himself in Rome, ending Avignon’s time in the spotlight.
In addition to the pope pens, it is licensed sell alcohol.
- Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rocked Us…Literally (schwingeninswitzerland.wordpress.com)
- Nursery Rhyme Time – Le Pont d’Avignon (schwingeninswitzerland.wordpress.com)