Avignon

Avignon (French pronunciation: ​[aviɲɔ̃]; Latin: Avenio; Provençal: Avignoun, Occitan: Avinhon pronounced [aviˈɲun]) is a commune in south-eastern France in the department of Vaucluse on the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 90,194 inhabitants of the city (as of 2011), about 12,000 live in the ancient town centre enclosed by its medieval ramparts.

Between 1309 and 1377, during the Avignon Papacy, seven successive popes resided in Avignon and in 1348 Pope Clement VI bought the town from Joanna I of Naples. Papal control persisted until 1791 when, during the French Revolution, it became part of France. The town is now the capital of the Vaucluse department and one of the few French cities to have preserved its ramparts.

The historic centre, which includes the Palais des Papes, the cathedral, and the Pont d'Avignon, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. The medieval monuments and the annual Festival d'Avignon have helped to make the town a major centre for tourism.

Avignon
Vue aérienne 2 JP Campomar
Park beim Papstpalast in Avignon01 (cropped)
Avignon, Palais des Papes depuis Tour Philippe le Bel by JM Rosier (cropped)
Cathédrale Notre-Dame des Doms d'Avignon sous l'orage
Avignon festival 2006 asobu popes palace
Le Pont d'Avignon (cropped)
Coat of arms of Avignon

Coat of arms
Location of Avignon
Avignon is located in France
Avignon
Avignon
Avignon is located in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Avignon
Avignon
Coordinates: 43°57′N 4°49′E / 43.95°N 4.81°ECoordinates: 43°57′N 4°49′E / 43.95°N 4.81°E
CountryFrance
RegionProvence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
DepartmentVaucluse
ArrondissementAvignon
CantonAvignon-1, Avignon-2, Avignon-3
IntercommunalityCA Grand Avignon
Government
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Cécile Helle (PS)
Area
1
64.78 km2 (25.01 sq mi)
Population
(2015)2
92,130
 • Density1,400/km2 (3,700/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET (GMT +1))
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
84007 /84000
Elevation10–122 m (33–400 ft)
(avg. 23 m or 75 ft)
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Official nameHistoric Centre of Avignon: Papal Palace, Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge
CriteriaCultural: i, ii, iv
Reference228
Inscription1995 (19th Session)
Area8.2 ha

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Toponymy

The earliest forms of the name were reported by the Greeks:[1]

  • Аὐενιὼν = Auenion (Stephen of Byzantium, Strabo, IV, 1, 11)
  • Άουεννίων = Aouennion (Ptolemy II, x).

The Roman name Avennĭo Cavarum (Mela, II, 575, Pliny III, 36), i.e. "Avignon of Cavares" accurately shows that Avignon was one of the three cities of the Celtic-Ligurian tribe of Cavares, along with Cavaillon and Orange.

The current name dates to a pre-Indo-European[1] or pre-Latin[2] theme ab-ên with the suffix -i-ōn(e)[1][2] This theme would be a hydronym – i.e. a name linked to the river (Rhône), but perhaps also an oronym of terrain (the Rocher des Doms).

The Auenion of the 1st century BC was Latinized to Avennĭo (or Avēnĭo), -ōnis in the 1st century and was written Avinhon in classic Occitan spelling[3] or Avignoun [aviɲũ] in Mistralian spelling[4] The inhabitants of the commune are called avinhonencs or avignounen in both Occitan and Provençal dialect.

Geography

Avignon is on the left bank of the Rhône river, a few kilometres above its confluence with the Durance, about 580 km (360 mi) south-east of Paris, 229 km (142 mi) south of Lyon and 85 km (53 mi) north-north-west of Marseille. On the west it shares a border with the department of Gard and the communes of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon and Les Angles and to the south it borders the department of Bouches-du-Rhône and the communes of Barbentane, Rognonas, Châteaurenard, and Noves.

The city is in the vicinity of Orange (north), Nîmes, Montpellier (south-west), Arles (to the south), Salon-de-Provence, and Marseille (south-east). Directly contiguous to the east and north are the communes of Caumont-sur-Durance, Morières-lès-Avignon, Le Pontet, and Sorgues.

Geology and terrain

P1280052 - Avignon
Aerial view of Avignon

The region around Avignon is very rich in limestone which is used for building material. For example, the current ramparts, measuring 4,330 metres long, were built with the soft limestone abundant in the region called mollasse burdigalienne.[5]

Enclosed by the ramparts, the Rocher des Doms is a limestone elevation of urgonian type, 35 metres high[6] (and therefore safe from flooding of the Rhone which it overlooks) and is the original core of the city. Several limestone massifs are present around the commune (the Massif des Angles, Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, Alpilles...) and they are partly the result of the oceanisation of the Ligurian-Provençal basin following the migration of the Sardo-Corsican block.[5]

The other significant elevation in the commune is the Montfavet Hill – a wooded hill in the east of the commune.[5]

The Rhone Valley is an old alluvial zone: loose deposits cover much of the ground. It consists of sandy alluvium more or less coloured with pebbles consisting mainly of siliceous rocks. The islands in the Rhone, such as the Île de la Barthelasse, were created by the accumulation of alluvial deposits and also by the work of man. The relief is quite low despite the creation of mounds allowing local protection from flooding.[5]

In the land around the city there are clay, silt, sand, and limestone present.[5]

Hydrography

Vue des ponts d'Avignon par JM Rosier
Bridges on the Grand Rhône.
Pont d'Avignon
The Pont d'Avignon on the Petit Rhône. In the background is Mont Ventoux.

The Rhone passes the western edge of the city but is divided into two branches: the Petit Rhône, or "dead arm", for the part that passes next to Avignon and the Grand Rhône, or "live arm", for the western channel which passes Villeneuve-lès-Avignon in the Gard department. The two branches are separated by an island, the Île de la Barthelasse. The southernmost tip of the Île de la Barthelasse once formed of a separated island, the L'Île de Piot.[7]

The banks of the Rhone and the Île de la Barthelasse are often subject to flooding during autumn and March. The publication Floods in France since the 6th century until today – research and documentation[8] by Maurice Champion tells about a number of them (until 1862, the flood of 1856 was one of the largest, which destroyed part of the walls). They have never really stopped as shown by the floods in 1943–1944[9] and again on 23 January 1955[10] and remain important today – such as the floods of 2 December 2003.[11] As a result, a new risk mapping has been developed.

The Durance flows along the southern boundary of the commune into the Rhone and marks the departmental boundary with Bouches-du-Rhône.[12] It is a river that is considered "capricious" and once feared for its floods (it was once called the "3rd scourge of Provence"[a] as well as for its low water: the Durance has both Alpine and Mediterranean morphology which is unusual.

There are many natural and artificial water lakes in the commune such as the Lake of Saint-Chamand east of the city.

Artificial diversions

Moulin Parc chico mendes 6
A mill on the Vaucluse Canal in the Pont des 2 eaux district

There have been many diversions[13] throughout the course of history, such as feeding the moat surrounding Avignon or irrigating crops.

In the 10th century part of the waters from the Sorgue d'Entraigues were diverted and today pass under the ramparts to enter the city. (See Sorgue). This watercourse is called the Vaucluse Canal but Avignon people still call it the Sorgue or Sorguette. It is visible in the city in the famous Rue des teinturiers (street of dyers). It fed the moat around the first ramparts then fed the moat on the newer eastern city walls (14th century). In the 13th century (under an Act signed in 1229) part of the waters of the Durance were diverted to increase the water available for the moats starting from Bonpas. This river was later called the Durançole. The Durançole fed the western moats of the city and was also used to irrigate crops at Montfavet. In the city these streams are often hidden beneath the streets and houses and are currently used to collect sewerage.

The Hospital Canal (joining the Durançole) and the Crillon Canal (1775) were dug to irrigate the territories of Montfavet, Pontet, and Vedène. They were divided into numerous "fioles" or "filioles" (in Provençal filhòlas or fiolo). Similarly, to irrigate the gardens of the wealthy south of Avignon, the Puy Canal was dug (1808). All of these canals took their water from the Durance. These canals were initially used to flood the land, which was very stony, to fertilize them by deposition of silt.

All of these canals have been used to operate many mills.

Seismicity

Clocher de l'église des Augustins (Place des Carmes) Avignon, by JM Rosier
The leaning bell tower of the Church of the Augustinians.

Under the new seismic zoning of France defined in Decree No. 2010-1255 of 22 October 2010 concerning the delimitation of the seismicity of the French territory and which entered into force on 1 May 2011, Avignon is located in an area of moderate seismicity. The previous zoning is shown below for reference.

"The cantons of Bonnieux, Apt, Cadenet, Cavaillon, and Pertuis are classified in zone Ib (low risk). All other cantons the Vaucluse department, including Avignon, are classified Ia (very low risk). This zoning is for exceptional seismicity resulting in the destruction of buildings.".[14]

The presence of faults in the limestone substrate shows that significant tectonic shift has caused earthquakes in different geological ages. The last major earthquake of significant magnitude was on 11 June 1909.[b] It left a visible trace in the centre of the city since the bell tower of the Augustinians, which is surmounted by an ancient campanile of wrought iron, located in Rue Carreterie, remained slightly leaning as a result of this earthquake.

Climate

Avignon has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa in the Köppen climate classification), with mild-cool winters and hot summers, with moderate rainfall year-round. July and August are the hottest months with average daily maximum temperatures of around 28 °C, and January and February the coldest with average daily maximum temperatures of around 9 °C. The wettest month is September, with a rain average of 102 millimetres, and the driest month is July, when the monthly average rainfall is 37 millimetres. The city is often subject to windy weather; the strongest wind is the mistral. A medieval Latin proverb said of the city: Avenie ventosa, sine vento venenosa, cum vento fastidiosa (Windy Avignon, pest-ridden when there is no wind, wind-pestered when there is).[15]

Climate data for Avignon (1981–2010 averages, extremes 1958–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 20.9
(69.6)
22.3
(72.1)
26.5
(79.7)
31.1
(88.0)
34.1
(93.4)
37.7
(99.9)
39.7
(103.5)
40.5
(104.9)
35.3
(95.5)
30.8
(87.4)
24.3
(75.7)
21.0
(69.8)
40.5
(104.9)
Average high °C (°F) 10.2
(50.4)
11.8
(53.2)
15.6
(60.1)
18.6
(65.5)
23.1
(73.6)
27.3
(81.1)
30.7
(87.3)
30.0
(86.0)
25.3
(77.5)
20.2
(68.4)
14.0
(57.2)
10.5
(50.9)
19.8
(67.6)
Daily mean °C (°F) 5.9
(42.6)
7.1
(44.8)
10.3
(50.5)
13.1
(55.6)
17.3
(63.1)
21.2
(70.2)
24.2
(75.6)
23.7
(74.7)
19.6
(67.3)
15.4
(59.7)
9.9
(49.8)
6.6
(43.9)
14.6
(58.3)
Average low °C (°F) 1.6
(34.9)
2.3
(36.1)
5.1
(41.2)
7.5
(45.5)
11.4
(52.5)
15.2
(59.4)
17.8
(64.0)
17.3
(63.1)
14.0
(57.2)
10.5
(50.9)
5.8
(42.4)
2.7
(36.9)
9.3
(48.7)
Record low °C (°F) −13
(9)
−14
(7)
−9.5
(14.9)
−2.2
(28.0)
1.3
(34.3)
4.4
(39.9)
8.6
(47.5)
8.0
(46.4)
3.9
(39.0)
−2.2
(28.0)
−7.4
(18.7)
−14
(7)
−14
(7)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 48.7
(1.92)
37.6
(1.48)
38.6
(1.52)
66.1
(2.60)
62.5
(2.46)
41.0
(1.61)
26.6
(1.05)
45.8
(1.80)
97.6
(3.84)
91.4
(3.60)
71.1
(2.80)
49.0
(1.93)
676.0
(26.61)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 5.4 4.8 4.4 7.1 6.5 4.3 2.4 3.3 5.3 7.2 6.7 5.6 62.9
Source: Météo France[16]

According to Météo-France the number of days per year with rain above 2.5 litres per square metre is 45 and the amount of water, rain and snow combined is 660 litres per square metre. Average temperatures vary between 0 and 30 °C depending on the season. The record temperature record since the existence of the weather station at Orange is 40.7 °C on 26 July 1983 and the record lowest was −14.5 °C on 2 February 1956.[17]

The mistral

The prevailing wind is the mistral for which the windspeed can be beyond 110 km/h. It blows between 120 and 160 days per year with an average speed of 90 km/h in gusts.[18] The following table shows the different speeds of the mistral recorded by Orange and Carpentras Serres stations in the southern Rhone valley and its frequency in 2006. Normal corresponds to the average of the last 53 years from Orange weather reports and that of the last 42 at Carpentras.[19]

Legend: "=" same as normal; "+" Higher than normal; "-" Lower than normal.

Speed of Mistral winds
Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May. Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
Maximum recorded speed by month 106 km/h 127 km/h 119 km/h 97 km/h 94 km/h 144 km/h 90 km/h 90 km/h 90 km/h 87 km/h 91 km/h 118 km/h
Tendency: Days with speed
> 16 m/s (58 km/h)
-- +++ --- ++++ ++++ = = ++++ + --- = ++

Demographics

In 2010, the commune had 89,683 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger communes that have a sample survey every year.

1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
24,000 21,412 23,789 29,407 29,889 31,786 33,844 35,169 35,890
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
37,077 36,081 36,427 38,196 38,008 37,657 41,007 43,453 45,107
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
46,896 48,312 49,304 48,177 51,685 57,228 59,472 60,053 62,768
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2010 -
72,717 86,096 90,786 89,132 86,939 85,935 90,800 89,683 -

Sources : Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 (population without double counting and municipal population from 2006)

Administration

Avignon is the prefecture (capital) of Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region. It forms the core of the Grand Avignon metropolitan area (communauté d'agglomération), which comprises 15 communes on both sides of the river:[20]

List of Mayors

List of Successive Mayors[21]

Mayors from 1940
From To Name Party Position
1940 1942 Jean Gauger
1942 1944 Edmond Pailheret
1944 1945 Louis Gros
1945 1947 Georges Pons
1947 1948 Paul Rouvier
1948 1950 Henri Mazo
1950 1953 Noël Hermitte
1953 1958 Edouard Daladier
1958 1983 Henri Duffaut PS
1983 1989 Jean-Pierre Roux RPR
1989 1995 Guy Ravier PS
1995 2014 Marie-José Roig UMP
2014 2020 Cécile Helle PS

(Not all data is known)

Twinning

Avignon has twinning associations with:[22]

Evolution of the borders of the commune

Avignon absorbed Montfavet between 1790 and 1794 then ceded Morières-lès-Avignon in 1870 and Le Pontet in 1925.[24] On 16 May 2007 the commune of Les Angles in Gard ceded 13 hectares to Avignon.[25]

Area and population

The city of Avignon has an area of 64.78 km2 and a population of 92,078 inhabitants in 2010 and is ranked as follows:[25]

Rank Land Area Population Density
France 524th 46th 632nd
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur 105th 5th 23rd
Vaucluse 6th 1st 2nd

Economy

Avignon is the seat of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vaucluse which manages the Avignon – Caumont Airport and the Avignon-Le Pontet Docks.

Avignon has 7,000 businesses, 1,550 associations, 1,764 shops, and 1,305 service providers.[26] The urban area has one of the largest catchment areas in Europe with more than 300,000 square metres of retail space and 469 m2 per thousand population against 270 on average in France.[27] The commercial area of Avignon Nord is one of the largest in Europe.[28]

The tertiary sector is the most dynamic in the department by far on the basis of the significant production of early fruit and vegetables in Vaucluse, The MIN (Market of National Importance) has become the pivotal hub of commercial activity in the department, taking precedence over other local markets (including that of Carpentras).

A Sensitive urban zone was created for companies wanting to relocate with exemptions from tax and social issues.[29] It is located south of Avignon between the city walls and the Durance located in the districts of Croix Rouge, Monclar, Saint-Chamand, and La Rocade.[30]

Areas of economic activity

There are nine main areas of economic activity in Avignon.[31]

The Courtine area is the largest with nearly 300 businesses (of which roughly half are service establishments, one third are shops, and the rest related to industry) and more than 3,600 jobs.[31] The site covers an area of 300 hectares and is located south-west of the city at the TGV railway station.

Then comes the Fontcouverte area with a hundred establishments representing a thousand jobs. It is, however, more oriented towards shops than the Courtine area.[31]

The MIN area of Avignon is the Agroparc area[c] (or "Technopole Agroparc"). The Cristole area is contiguous and both have a little less than a hundred establishments.[31]

Finally, the areas of Castelette, Croix de Noves, Realpanier, and the airport each have fewer than 25 establishments spread between service activities and shops. The area of the Castelette alone represents more than 600 jobs – i.e. 100 more than Cristole.[31]

Tourism

Four million visitors come annually to visit the city and the region and also for its festival.[26] In 2011 the most popular tourist attraction was the Palais des Papes with 572,972 paying visitors.[32] The annual Festival d'Avignon is the most important cultural event in the city. The official festival attracted 135,800 people in 2012.[32]

Viking Burgundy (ship, 2000) 001
A cruise boat at the quay at Avignon.

River tourism began in 1994 with three river boat-hotels. In 2011 there is a fleet of 21 river boat-hotel vessels, including six sight-seeing boats which are anchored on the quay along the Oulle walkways. In addition, a free shuttle boat connects Avignon to the Île de la Barthelasse and, as of 1987, a harbor master has managed all river traffic.

The commune has been awarded one flower by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom.[33]

Agriculture

Fruits et légumes aux Halles
Fruit and Vegetables at the Markets of Avignon

The city is the headquarters of the International Association of the Mediterranean tomato, the World Council of the tomato industry, and the Inter-Rhône organisation.

Industry

Only EDF (Grand Delta) with about 850 employees and Onet Propreté[d] with just over 300 exceed 100 employees.[34]

Public sector (excluding government)

The Henri Duffaut hospital, the City of Avignon, and the CHS of Montfavet are the largest employers in the town with about 2,000 employees each. Then comes the General Council of Vaucluse with about 1,300 employees.[34]

Employment

In 2011 the unemployment rate was 15.6% while it was 13.7% in 2006.[35] There are 39,100 people in the Avignon workforce: 78 (0.2%) agricultural workers, 2,191 (5.6%) tradesmen, shopkeepers, and business managers, 4,945 (12.6%) managers and intellectuals, 8,875 (22.6%) middle managers, 12,257 (31.3%) employees, and 9,603 (24.6%) workers.[35]

Transport

Roads

Avignon is close to two highways:

  • the A7 autoroute (E714) is a north-south axis on which there are two exits: Sinnbild Autobahnausfahrt.svg 23  Avignon-Nord (Northern districts of Avignon, Le Pontet, Carpentras) and Sinnbild Autobahnausfahrt.svg 24  Avignon-Sud (Southern districts of Avignon, Avignon-Caumont Airport);
  • the A9 autoroute (E15) which branches from the A7 near Orange along a north-east south-west axis towards Spain.

The main roads are:

The city has nine paid parking buildings with a total of 7,100 parking spaces, parking buildings under surveillance with a capacity for 2,050 cars with a free shuttle to the city centre, as well as five other free parking areas with a capacity of 900 cars.[36]

Railways

Avignon is served by two railway stations: the historic train station built in 1860, the Gare d'Avignon-Centre, located just outside the city walls, which can accommodate any type of train and, since 2001, the Gare d'Avignon TGV in the "Courtine" district south of the city, on the LGV Méditerranée line. Since December 2013 the two stations have been connected by a link line – the Virgule. The Montfavet district, which was formerly a separate commune, also has a station.[37]

Airports

The Avignon - Caumont Airport on the south-eastern commune border has several international routes to England. The major airport in the region with domestic and international scheduled passenger service is the Marseille Provence Airport.

Water transport

Avignon - Navette Fluviale
A Water taxi departing from its berth

The Rhône has for many centuries been an important means of transportation for the city. River traffic in Avignon has two commercial ports, docking stations for boat cruises, and various riverfront developments. A free shuttle boat has been established between the quay near the ramparts and the opposite bank (the île de la Barthelasse).

StationVelopop
A vélopop cycle station next to the city walls

Public transport

The Transports en Commun de la Région d'Avignon, also known by the acronym TCRA, is the public transport operator for the commune of Avignon and its surrounding suburbs. TCRA operates bus services, as well as bike sharing and car pooling services. Two tram lines are under construction and projected to open in 2016.[38][39]

Bicycles

Avignon has 110 km (68 mi) of bicycle paths.[26] In 2009 the TCRA introduced a bicycle sharing system called the Vélopop'.[40]

Cultural heritage

Avignon has a very large number of sites and buildings (173) that are registered as historical monuments.[41]

Avignon shops
Rue de la République, the city's central boulevard

In the part of the city within the walls the buildings are old but in most areas they have been restored or reconstructed (such as the post office and the Lycée Frédéric Mistral).[42] The buildings along the main street, Rue de la République, date from the Second Empire (1852–70) with Haussmann façades and amenities around Place de l'Horloge (the central square), the neoclassical city hall, and the theatre district.

Avignon statues
Statues gaze over the Place de l'Horloge in the town centre
Avignon facades
Paintings on the façades of buildings in the town centre
Avignon Clock Tower - L'horloge
Avignon France Clock Tower landscape photo

Listed below are the major sites of interest with those sites registered as historical monuments indicated:

  • Notre Dame des Doms (12th century),Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[43] the cathedral, is a Romanesque building, mainly built during the 12th century; the most prominent feature of the cathedral is the 19th century gilded statue of the Virgin which surmounts the western tower. The mausoleum of Pope John XXII (1334)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[44] is one of the most beautiful works within the cathedral, and is a noteworthy example of 14th-century Gothic carving.
  • Palais des Papes ("Papal Palace") (14th century)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[45] almost dwarfs the cathedral. The palace is an impressive monument and sits within a square of the same name. The palace was begun in 1316 by John XXII and continued by succeeding popes through the 14th century, until 1370 when it was finished.
  • Minor churches of the town include, among others, three churches which were built in the Gothic architectural style:
    • Church of Saint-Pierre (14th century)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[46] which has a graceful façade and richly carved doors;
    • Church of Saint-Didier (14th century);Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[47] and
    • Church of Saint-Agricol (14th century).Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[48]
  • Civic buildings are represented most notably by:
    • the Hôtel de Ville (city hall) (1846),Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[49] a relatively modern building with a bell tower from the 14th century,
    • the old Hôtel des MonnaiesLogo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg,[50] the papal mint which was built in 1610 and became a music-school.
  • The Ramparts,Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[51] built by the popes in the 14th century and still encircle Avignon. They are one of the finest examples of medieval fortification in existence. The walls are of great strength and are surmounted by machicolated battlements flanked at intervals by 39 massive towers and pierced by several gateways, three of which date from the 14th century. The walls were restored under the direction of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc
  • Bridges include:
  • Calvet Museum, so named after Esprit Calvet, a physician who in 1810 left his collections to the town. It has a large collection of paintings, metalwork and other objects. The library has over 140,000 volumes.[53]
  • The town has a Statue of Jean Althen, who migrated from Persia and in 1765 introduced the culture of the madder plant, which long formed the staple—and is still an important tool—of the local cloth trade in the area.
  • Musée du Petit Palais (opened 1976) at the end of the square overlooked by the Palais des Papes, has an exceptional collection of Renaissance paintings of the Avignon school as well as from Italy, which reunites many "primitives" from the collection of Giampietro Campana.
  • The Hotel d'Europe, one of the oldest hotels in France, in business since 1799.
  • The Collection Lambert, houses contemporary art exhibitions
  • The Musée Angladon exhibits the paintings of a private collector who created the museum
  • Musée Lapidaire, with collections of archaeological and medieval sculptures from the Fondation Calvet in the old chapel of the Jesuit College.
  • Musée Louis-Vouland
  • Musée Requien
  • Palais du RoureLogo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[54]
  • Les Halles is a large indoor market that offers fresh produce, meats, and fish along with a variety of other goods.
  • The Place Pie is a small square near Place de l'Horloge where you can partake in an afternoon coffee on the outdoor terraces or enjoy a night on the town later in the evening as the square fills with young people.

Religious historical objects

The commune houses an extremely large number of religious items which are listed as historical objects. To see a comprehensive list of objects in each location click on the numbers in the table below:

Locations of Historical Objects

Location No. of Objects
Cathedral of Notre-Dame des Doms 268 objects
Chapel of the Oratory 1 object
Chapel of the White penitents 5 objects
Chapel of the Grey penitents 3 objects
Chapel of the Black penitents 9 objects
Chapel of the Grand Seminary 1 object
College of Saint-Joseph 3 objects
Hospice of Saint-Louis 1 object
Hospital Sainte-Marthe 26 objects
Hotel of Saint-Priest d'Urgel (Hotel de Monery) 27 objects
House of King René 1 object
Calvet Museum 3 objects
Arch-episcopal Palace 1 object
Palais des Papes 3 objects
Synagogue 4 objects
Church of Saint-Agricol 43 objects
Church of Saint-Didier 21 objects
Church of Saint-Pierre 23 objects
Church of Saint-Symphorien 12 objects
Church of Montfavet 4 objects
Total Objects 459

Picture gallery

Avignon, Palais des Papes by JM Rosier

View of the Palais des papes from the square on the western side.

Abbaye Saint-Ruf d'Avignon 01

The Abbey of Saint-Ruf.

Avignon bridge by Rosier

The Pont d'Avignon famous from the song Sur le Pont d'Avignon.

Pont Saint-Benezet (nuit)

The Pont Saint-Bénézet, illuminated at night.

Remparts d'Avignon

The Ramparts of Avignon.

Hotel de la monnaie

The Hôtel des Monnaies.

Culture

Avignon Festival

A famous theatre festival is held annually in Avignon. Founded in 1947, the Avignon Festival comprises traditional theatrical events as well as other art forms such as dance, music, and cinema, making good use of the town's historical monuments. Every summer approximately 100,000 people attend the festival.[55] There are really two festivals that take place: the more formal "Festival In", which presents plays inside the Palace of the Popes and the more bohemian "Festival Off", which is known for its presentation of largely undiscovered plays and street performances.

The International Congress Centre

The Centre was created in 1976 within the premises of the Palace of the Popes and hosts many events throughout the entire year. The Congress Centre, designed for conventions, seminars, and meetings for 10 to 550 persons, now occupies two wings of the Popes' Palace.[56]

"Sur le Pont d'Avignon"

View over the Rhône looking northeast, with the Pont Saint-Bénézet or "Pont d'Avignon" at left
View over the Rhône looking northeast, with the Pont Saint-Bénézet or "Pont d'Avignon" at left

Avignon is commemorated by the French song, "Sur le Pont d'Avignon" ("On the bridge of Avignon"), which describes folk dancing. The song dates from the mid-19th century when Adolphe Adam included it in the Opéra comique Le Sourd ou l'Auberge Pleine which was first performed in Paris in 1853. The opera was an adaptation of the 1790 comedy by Desforges.[57]

The bridge of the song is the Saint-Bénézet bridge over the Rhône of which only four arches (out of the initial 22) now remain. A bridge across the Rhone was built between 1171 and 1185, with a length of some 900 m (2950 ft), but was destroyed during the siege of Avignon by Louis VIII of France in 1226. It was rebuilt but suffered frequent collapses during floods and had to be continually repaired. Several arches were already missing (and spanned by wooden sections) before the remainder was abandoned in 1669.[58]

Sport

Sporting Olympique Avignon is the local rugby league football team. During the 20th century it produced a number of French international representative players.

AC Arles-Avignon was a professional association football team. They competed in Ligue 2, after a season 2010–2011 competing in Ligue 1 and being relegated back down the following season and ultimately folding in 2016. They played at the Parc des Sports, which has a capacity of just over 17,000.

Nuclear pollution

On 8 July 2008 waste containing unenriched uranium leaked into two rivers from Tricastin nuclear plant in southern France. Some 30,000 litres (7,925 gallons) of solution containing 12g of uranium per litre spilled from an overflowing reservoir at the facility – which handles liquids contaminated by uranium – into the ground and into the Gaffiere and Lauzon rivers. The authorities kept this a secret from the public for 12 hours then issued a statement prohibiting swimming and fishing in the Gaffiere and Lauzon rivers.[59]

Education

The schools within the commune of Avignon are administered by the Académie d'Aix-Marseille. There are 26 state nursery schools (Écoles maternelles) for children up to 6, and 32 state primary schools (Écoles élémentaires) up to 11. There are also 4 private schools.[60]

University of Avignon

UniversiteAvignon-Entree
Entrance to the main university building. This 18th century portico was once the entrance to the Hôpital Sainte-Marthe.

University before the Revolution

The medieval University of Avignon, formed from the existing schools of the city, was formally constituted in 1303 by Boniface VIII in a Papal Bull. Boniface VIII and King Charles II of Naples were the first great protectors and benefactors to the university. The Law department was the most important department covering both civil and ecclesiastical law. The law department existed nearly exclusively for some time after the university's formation and remained its most important department throughout its existence.[61]

In 1413 Antipope John XXIII founded the University's department of theology, which for quite some time had only a few students. It was not until the 16th and 17th centuries that the school developed a department of medicine. The Bishop of Avignon was chancellor of the university from 1303 to 1475. After 1475 the bishop became an Archbishop but remained chancellor of the university. The papal vice-legate, generally a bishop, represented the civil power (in this case the pope) and was chiefly a judicial officer who ranked higher than the Primicerius (Rector).[61]

The Primicerius was elected by the Doctors of Law. In 1503 the Doctors of Law had 4 Theologians and in 1784 two Doctors of Medicine added to their ranks. Since the Pope was the spiritual head and, after 1348, the temporal ruler of Avignon, he was able to have a great deal of influence in all university affairs. In 1413 John XXIII granted the university extensive special privileges, such as university jurisdiction and tax exempt status. Political, geographical, and educational circumstances in the latter part of the university's existence caused it to seek favour from Paris rather than Rome for protection. During the chaos of the French Revolution the university started to gradually disappear and, in 1792, the university was abandoned and closed.[61]

Modern university

A university annex of the Faculté des Sciences d'Aix-Marseille was opened in Avignon in 1963. Over the next 20 years various changes were made to the provision of tertiary education in the town until finally in 1984 the Université d'Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse was created. This was nearly 200 years after the demise of the original Avignon university.[62] The main campus lies to the east of the city centre within the city ramparts. The university occupies the 18th century buildings of the Hôpital Sainte-Marthe. The main building has an elegant façade with a central portico. The right hand side was designed by Jean-Baptiste Franque and built between 1743 and 1745. Franque was assisted by his son François in the design of the portico. The hospital moved out in the 1980s and, after major works, the building opened for students in 1997.[63][64] In 2009–2010 there were 7,125 students registered at the university.[65]

Notable people

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Provençal tradition says that the first two were the mistral and the Parliament of Aix
  2. ^ The épicentre was at Lambesc – a village in Bouches-du-Rhône.
  3. ^ This area has had the INRA Centre which carries out scientific research in engineering environmental management for cultivated land and forests since 1953.
  4. ^ Cleaning company.

References

  1. ^ a b c Rostaing 1994, p. 30.
  2. ^ a b Dauzat & Rostaing 1963, p. 1689.
  3. ^ Robert Bourret, French-Occitan Dictionary, Éd. Lacour, Nîmes, 1999, p. 59. (in French)
  4. ^ Xavier de Fourvière & Rupert 1902, p. 62.
  5. ^ a b c d e Relief and Geology of the Avignon sector, Agence Rosier website (archived) (in French)
  6. ^ Avignon Encyclopedia Universalis website (in French)
  7. ^ "Cassini map circa 1750: Avignon". David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  8. ^ Champion 1862.
  9. ^ Floods in Avignon, Institut national de l'audiovisuel video document, consulted on 19 July 2014 (in French)
  10. ^ Floods in Paris and Avignon, 23 January 1955, Institut national de l'audiovisuel video document JT 20h, ORTF, consulted on 19 July 2014 (in French)
  11. ^ Floods on 2 December 2003, Institut national de l'audiovisuel video document (in French)
  12. ^ Watercourses: The Èze River (X31-0400), Sandre database (in French)
  13. ^ The Street of Dyers – Avignon, avignon-et-provence.com website, consulted on 19 July 2014
  14. ^ Regulatory Seismic Zoning of France, classed by cantons (as at the end of 1989) in the PACA rehion, p. 48. (in French)
  15. ^ Mistral 1979, p. 196.
  16. ^ "Avignon–INRA (84)" (PDF). Fiche Climatologique: Statistiques 1981–2010 et records (in French). Meteo France. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 March 2018. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  17. ^ Infoclimat weather station at Orange (in French)
  18. ^ Jean Vialar, Regional and local winds, 1948; reprinted by Météo-France in 2003. (in French)
  19. ^ Source: Inter Rhône technical services at Avignon Metereological data from 2006 Archived 13 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine (in French)
  20. ^ "Les communes". Communauté d'Agglomération du Grand Avignon. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  21. ^ List of Mayors of France (in French)
  22. ^ National Commission for Decentralised cooperation (in French)
  23. ^ Francis, Valerie. "Twin Town News – Colchester, Avignon, Imola and Wetzlar" (PDF). The Colchester Twinning Society. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  24. ^ "Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Avignon". École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS). Retrieved 26 July 2014..
  25. ^ a b Avignon, Town Hall Annual, consulted on 10 September 2010 (in French)
  26. ^ a b c "Contexte économique: Carte d'identité d'Avignon" (in French). Le Marie, Avignon.
  27. ^ A wall of commercial areas, journal le Ravi, November 2008 (in French)
  28. ^ It is the zone, article in the Provençal magazine le Ravi, September 2011
  29. ^ The exemptions in the Sensitive urban zone of Avignon (in French)
  30. ^ Maps and plans of the Sensitive urban zone of Avignon, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vaucluse, consulted on 19 October 2011 (in French)
  31. ^ a b c d e Principal areas of activity in the department, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vaucluse, consulted on 19 October 2011 (in French)
  32. ^ a b Joly, Sylvie. "Avignon 2013: Dossier de Presse" (PDF) (in French). Office de Tourisme, Avignon. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  33. ^ Avignon in the Competition for Towns and Villages in Bloom Archived 10 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine (in French)
  34. ^ a b South INSEE the highest 10, October 1998, INSEE, consulted on 18 October 2011 (in French)
  35. ^ a b Key Employment data, INSEE
  36. ^ "Transport: Parking" (in French). La Marie d'Avignon. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  37. ^ "Transport: Le train". La Marie d'Avignon. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  38. ^ "TCRA Transports en Commun Région d'Avignon: Page d'accueil". Transports en Commun de la Région d'Avignon. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  39. ^ "Le tramway: Un projet optimisé pour 2016". Communauté d'Agglomération du Grand Avignon. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  40. ^ "Vélopop" (in French). Transports en Commun de la Région d'Avignon. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  41. ^ "Search for "Avignon" in Mérimée database" (in French). Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  42. ^ "L'extension du XXe siècle" (in French). Archives Municipales Avignon. Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  43. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00081814 Notre Dame des Doms (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  44. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM84000105 Tomb of Pope John XXII (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  45. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00081941 Palais des Papes (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  46. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00081834 Church of Saint-Pierre (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  47. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00081832 Church of Saint-Didier (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  48. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00081831 Church of Saint-Agricol (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  49. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00081880 Hôtel de Ville (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  50. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00081864 Hôtel des Monnaies (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  51. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00081943 Ramparts (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  52. ^ Vella et al. 2013.
  53. ^ Vingtain & Aujard-Catot 2001, pp. 84–87.
  54. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00081942 Palais du Roure (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  55. ^ "Festival 2014". Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  56. ^ "Popes' Palace". Palais-des-papes.com. Archived from the original on 7 January 2010. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
  57. ^ Anonymous (6 February 1853), "Théatre Impérial de l'Opéra-Comique, Le Sourd ou l'Auberge pleine: Comédie en trois actes de Desforges, mélée de musique par Ad. Adam", Revue et gazette musicale de Paris: journal des artistes, des amateurs et des théâtres (in French), Paris, 20 (6): 42.
  58. ^ Rouquette 1974, pp. 219–229.
  59. ^ "Europe, Warning over French uranium leak". BBC News. 9 July 2008. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  60. ^ "Liste des écoles maternelles et primaires". Le Marie d'Avignon. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  61. ^ a b c Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "University of Avignon" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  62. ^ "Présentation: Histoire". Université d'Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  63. ^ Vingtain & Aujard-Catot 2001, pp. 123–124.
  64. ^ Girard 1958, pp. 306–307.
  65. ^ "Présentation: Chiffres clés". Université d'Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse. Archived from the original on 24 October 2007. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  66. ^ Boyer 1988, p. 356.
  67. ^ Vitaglione 2000, p. 63.
  68. ^ Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Alexandre De Rhodes" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  69. ^ "Claude-Joseph Vernet". National Gallery, London. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  70. ^ Girard 1958, p. 356.

Sources

External links

AC Arles-Avignon

Athlétic Club Arles-Avignon (French pronunciation: ​[aʁl-aviɲɔ̃]; commonly referred to as Arles-Avignon or simply Arles) was a French association football club originally based in Arles. The club was founded in 1912 as a result of a merger and was formerly known as Athlétic Club Arles, but in 2010, moved to the nearby commune of Avignon and adopted its current name. Arles-Avignon last played in the Championnat de France Amateur, the fourth division in French football; it previously gained four promotions in five seasons to reach Ligue 1 in 2010.

Arles-Avignon played its home matches at the Parc des Sports in nearby Avignon. The team was managed by former football player Franck Dumas and captained by defender Sébastien Cantini, who joined the club in 2012, after a five-year stint in Italy. In France, it has been commonplace to describe Arles-Avignon as an overachieving club primarily due to succeeding despite limited resources. Arles-Avignon's highest honour was winning its group in the Championnat de France amateur, the fourth level of French football, in 2007. Regionally, the club has won the Division Honneur Sud-Est Ouest three times and its reserve team are the current defending champions of the Méditerranée Division Honneur Régionale.

Arles-Avignon was known locally as Les Lions (The Lions) and incorporated the nickname into a multitude of club's fixtures, most notably its crest. After merging with Avignon, the club unveiled its new crest on 4 June 2009. The crest combined both elements of each club's predecessors and inscribed on the crest is Pays d'Arles Grand Avignon, which pays tribute to the inhabitants of the city of Arles and Grand Avignon, the metropolitan area that encompasses the commune of Avignon. In 2010, the club changed its crest again to coincide with its promotion to Ligue 1. It was dissolved in 2016.

Antipope Benedict XIII

Pedro Martínez de Luna y Pérez de Gotor (25 November 1328 – 23 May 1423), known as el Papa Luna in Spanish and Pope Luna in English, was an Aragonese nobleman, who as Benedict XIII, is considered an antipope (see Western Schism) by the Catholic Church.

Antipope Clement VII

Robert of Geneva (French: Robert de Genève) (1342 – 16 September 1394) was elected to the papacy as Clement VII (French: Clément VII) by the French cardinals who opposed Urban VI, and was the first antipope residing in Avignon, France. His election led to the Western Schism.

Avenir Club Avignonnais

Avenir Club Avignonnais is a French association football team from the city of Avignon, Vaucluse, currently playing in Division d'honneur (6th division in the French football league system).

Avignon-lès-Saint-Claude

Avignon-lès-Saint-Claude is a commune in the Jura department in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in eastern France.

Avignon Papacy

The Avignon Papacy was the period from 1309 to 1376 during which seven successive popes resided in Avignon (then in the Kingdom of Arles, part of the Holy Roman Empire, now in France) rather than in Rome. The situation arose from the conflict between the papacy and the French crown, culminating in the death of Pope Boniface VIII after his arrest and maltreatment by Philip IV of France. Following the further death of Pope Benedict XI, Philip forced a deadlocked conclave to elect the French Clement V as Pope in 1305. Clement refused to move to Rome, and in 1309, he moved his court to the papal enclave at Avignon, where it remained for the next 67 years. This absence from Rome is sometimes referred to as the "Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy".A total of seven popes reigned at Avignon, all French, and all under the influence of the French Crown. In 1376, Gregory XI abandoned Avignon and moved his court to Rome (arriving on January 17, 1377). But after Gregory's death in 1378, deteriorating relations between his successor Urban VI and a faction of cardinals gave rise to the Western Schism. This started a second line of Avignon popes, subsequently regarded as illegitimate. The last Avignon antipope, Benedict XIII, lost most of his support in 1398, including that of France; after five years besieged by the French, he fled to Perpignan in 1403. The schism ended in 1417 at the Council of Constance, after two popes had reigned in opposition to the papacy in Rome.

Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia

Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia is a federal electoral district in Quebec. It encompasses a portion of Quebec previously included in the electoral districts of Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine (21%) and Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia (79%).Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia was created by the 2012 federal electoral boundaries redistribution and has been legally defined in the 2013 representation order. It came into effect upon the call of the 42nd Canadian federal election, scheduled for 19 October 2015.

Cum sæpe accidere

Cum sæpe accidere was a papal bull issued by Pope Clement VIII on 28 February 1592, which decreed that the Jews of Avignon were forbidden to trade "new commodities" in public places.

Festival d'Avignon

The Festival d'Avignon, or Avignon Festival, is an annual arts festival held in the French city of Avignon every summer in July in the courtyard of the Palais des Papes as well as in other locations of the city. Founded in 1947 by Jean Vilar, it is the oldest existant festival in France and one of the world's greatest. Alongside the official festival, the "In" one, a number of shows are presented in Avignon at the same time of the year and are known as the "Off".

In 2008, some 950 shows were performed during three weeks.

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon, originally titled The Brothel of Avignon) is a large oil painting created in 1907 by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. The work, part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, portrays five nude female prostitutes in a brothel on Carrer d'Avinyó (Avignon Street) in Barcelona. Each figure is depicted in a disconcerting confrontational manner and none is conventionally feminine. The women appear slightly menacing and are rendered with angular and disjointed body shapes. The three figures on the left exhibit facial features in the Iberian style of Picasso's native Spain, while the two on the right are shown with African mask-like features. The racial primitivism evoked in these masks, according to Picasso, moved him to "liberate an utterly original artistic style of compelling, even savage force."In this adaptation of primitivism and abandonment of perspective in favor of a flat, two-dimensional picture plane, Picasso makes a radical departure from traditional European painting. This proto-cubist work is widely considered to be seminal in the early development of both cubism and modern art.

Les Demoiselles was revolutionary and controversial and led to widespread anger and disagreement, even amongst the painter's closest associates and friends. Matisse considered the work something of a bad joke yet indirectly reacted to it in his 1908 Bathers with a Turtle. Braque too initially disliked the painting yet perhaps more than anyone else, studied the work in great detail. And in fact, his subsequent friendship and collaboration with Picasso led to the cubist revolution. Its resemblance to Cézanne's The Bathers, Paul Gauguin's statue Oviri and El Greco's Opening of the Fifth Seal has been widely discussed by later critics.

At the time of its first exhibition in 1916, the painting was deemed immoral. The work, painted in Picasso's studio in the Bateau-Lavoir in Montmartre, Paris, was seen publicly for the first time at the Salon d'Antin in July 1916, at an exhibition organized by the poet André Salmon. It was at this exhibition that Salmon (who had already mentioned the painting in 1912 under the title Le Bordel philosophique) gave the work its current, less scandalous title, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, instead of the title originally chosen by Picasso, Le Bordel d'Avignon. Picasso, who always referred to it as mon bordel ("my brothel"), or Le Bordel d'Avignon, never liked Salmon's title and would have instead preferred the bowdlerization Las chicas de Avignon ("The Girls of Avignon").

Palais des Papes

The Palais des Papes (English: Palace of the Popes, lo Palais dei Papas in Occitan) is an historical palace located in Avignon, southern France. It is one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe. Once a fortress and palace, the papal residence was the seat of Western Christianity during the 14th century. Six papal conclaves were held in the Palais, leading to the elections of Benedict XII in 1334, Clement VI in 1342, Innocent VI in 1352, Urban V in 1362, Gregory XI in 1370 and Antipope Benedict XIII in 1394.

Pope Clement V

Pope Clement V (Latin: Clemens V; c. 1264 – 20 April 1314), born Raymond Bertrand de Got (also occasionally spelled de Guoth and de Goth), was Pope from 5 June 1305 to his death in 1314. He is remembered for suppressing the order of the Knights Templar and allowing the execution of many of its members, and as the Pope who moved the Papacy from Rome to Avignon, ushering in the period known as the Avignon Papacy.

Pope Gregory XI

Pope Gregory XI (Latin: Gregorius; c. 1329 – 27 March 1378) was Pope from 30 December 1370 to his death in 1378. He was the seventh and last Avignon pope and the most recent French pope. In 1377, Gregory XI returned the Papal court to Rome, ending nearly 70 years of papal residency in Avignon, France. His death shortly after was followed by the Western Schism.

Pope John XXII

Pope John XXII (Latin: Ioannes XXII; 1244 – 4 December 1334), born Jacques Duèze (or d'Euse), was Pope from 7 August 1316 to his death in 1334.

He was the second and longest-reigning Avignon Pope, elected by the Conclave of Cardinals, which was assembled in Lyon through the work of King Louis X's brother Philip, the Count of Poitiers, later King Philip V of France. Like his predecessor, Clement V, Pope John centralized power and income in the Papacy and lived a princely life in Avignon. He opposed the political policies of Louis IV of Bavaria as Holy Roman Emperor, which prompted Louis to invade Italy and set up an antipope, Nicholas V.

Pope John XXII faced controversy in theology involving his views on the Beatific Vision, and he opposed the Franciscan understanding of the poverty of Christ and his apostles, famously leading William of Ockham to write against unlimited papal power. He canonized St. Thomas Aquinas.

Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (French pronunciation: ​[pʁɔvɑ̃s alp kot dazyʁ]; Occitan: Provença-Aups-Còsta d'Azur; Italian: Provenza-Alpi-Costa Azzurra; Région Sud) is one of the 18 administrative regions of France. Its capital is Marseille. The region is roughly coterminous with the former French province of Provence, with the addition of the following adjacent areas: the former papal territory of Avignon, known as Comtat Venaissin; the former Sardinian-Piedmontese county of Nice, whose coastline is known in English as the French Riviera, and in French as the Côte d'Azur; and the southeastern part of the former French province of Dauphiné, in the French Alps. Previously known by the acronym PACA, the region officially adopted the name Région Sud in December 2017 . 4,935,576 people live in the region according to the 2012 census.

It encompasses six departments in Southeastern France: Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhône, Hautes-Alpes, Var and Vaucluse. It is bounded to the east by the France-Italy border, to the south by the Mediterranean Sea and by the Principality of Monaco, to the north by Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, and to the west by Occitanie, with the Rhône river marking its westernmost border.

The region logotype displays the coat of arms created in the 1990s and which combines the coats of arms of the old provinces making up Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. Economically the region is the third most important in France, just behind Île-de-France and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. Its GDP in 2012 was €142.4 billion (US $183.1 billion) while its per capita GDP was €28,861 ($US 37,121).

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Avignon

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Avignon (Latin: Archidioecesis Avenionensis; French: Archidiocèse d'Avignon) is an archdiocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in France. The diocese exercises jurisdiction over the territory embraced by the department of Vaucluse, in the Region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. The current archbishop is Jean-Pierre Marie Cattenoz, who was appointed in 2002.

Established in the 4th century as the Diocese of Avignon, the diocese was elevated to an Archdiocese in 1475, with the suffragan sees of the Diocese of Carpentras, the Diocese of Vaison, and the Diocese of Cavaillon. By the Concordat of 1801 these three dioceses were united to Avignon, together with the Diocese of Apt, a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Aix. At the same time, however, Avignon was reduced to the rank of a bishopric and was made a suffragan see of Aix.The Archdiocese of Avignon was re-established in 1822, and received as suffragan sees the Diocese of Viviers (restored in 1822); Diocese of Valence (formerly under Lyon); Diocese of Nîmes (restored in 1822); and Diocese of Montpellier (formerly under Toulouse).

On 16 December 2002, the see [officially Archdiocese of Avignon (–Apt, Cavaillon, Carpentras, Orange, and Vaison) (Latin: Archidioecesis Avenionensis (-Aptensis, Cavallicensis, Carpentoractensis, Auraiacensis, e Vasionensis); French: Archidiocèse d'Avignon (–Apt, Cavaillon, Carpentras, Orange, e Vaison))] lost its Metropolitan status and became instead a suffragan see of Marseille. In 2009 its name was changed to Archdiocese of Avignon, the secondary titles being suppressed.

University of Avignon

The Avignon University (French: Avignon Université) is a French university, based in Avignon (President : Philippe Ellerkamp). It is under the Academy of Aix and Marseille.

It was founded in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII, and closed in 1792 during the French Revolution. The University was re-opened as L'Université d'Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse in 1984 following the 1963 placement of an annex of Faculté des Sciences d'Aix-Marseille in Avignon.

Villeneuve-lès-Avignon

Villeneuve-lès-Avignon (French pronunciation: ​[vil'nœv lez‿avi'ɲɔ̃]; Provençal: Vilanòva d’Avinhon) is a commune in the Gard department in southern France. It can also be spelled Villeneuve-lez-Avignon.

Western Schism

The Western Schism, also called Papal Schism, Great Occidental Schism and Schism of 1378, was a split within the Catholic Church lasting from 1378 to 1417 in which two, since 1410 even three, men simultaneously claimed to be the true pope, having excommunicated one another. Driven by politics rather than any theological disagreement, the schism was ended by the Council of Constance (1414–1418). For a time these rival claims to the papal throne damaged the reputation of the office.

The affair is sometimes referred to as the Great Schism, although this term is typically reserved for the more enduring East–West Schism of 1054 between the Western Churches answering to the See of Rome and the Orthodox Churches of the East.

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