The Palace of the Popes stands as the mighty symbol of the church’s influence throughout the western Christian world in the 14th century. Construction was started in 1335 and completed in less than twenty years under the leadership of two builder popes, Benedict XII and his successor Clement VI. The Popes’ Palace is the biggest Gothic palace in all of Europe (15,000 m2 of floor space, which is the equivalent of 4 Gothic cathedrals).
The visitor can see over 20 rooms, scenes of historic events, in particular the pope’s private chambers and the frescoes painted by the Italian artist Matteo Giovannetti. The Popes’ Palace also offers the visitor continuous cultural activities throughout the year. A major art exhibit is displayed in the Great Chapel during the summer (“Les papesses” in 2013,from June, 9th to November,11th ), and the most prestigious performances of the Avignon Theater Festival, created by Jean Vilar in 1947, are given in the Honor Courtyard of the Popes’ Palace during the month of July.
The Popes’ Palace has welcomed 600,000 visitors. It is one of the most visited monuments in all of France.