Our lovely daughter Kate, back in the fold to enjoy ‘La Belle France’ with us again and come with us to visit Le Palais des Papes in Avignon! Happily posing with a T-shirt from Daddy, recently purchased in some far off Asian Market! Very appropriate for we Richard Curtiss, ‘Four Weddings & a Funeral’ ‘Notting Hill’and ‘Love Actually’ fans!
Having sampled the delights of the local Saturday bounties we eagerly awaited the arrival of our James.
We were soon rewarded, a family once again reunited! The following day, in Avignon, 4 smiling faces soon a glow in the mid afternoon Provencal sun, we were ready for the grand tour of Le Palais des Papes.
Another World Unesco site, it is the largest Gothic Palace in the world, equivalent in volume to 4 gothic cathedrals and includes the private apartments of the Pope, fantastically adorned with fabulous Italian frescoes. It was not a disappointing experience. Among the ramparts and cloisters, memories of Papal power, prestige and fear lingered. Hushed tones of whispered intrigue, soft choral voices practicing for evensong, men dedicated in a life long service to God. A bygone era, when the might of the Holy Catholic Church dominated peoples’ lives, their ambition, their destiny and their demise.
When from 1309 to 1376, during which time seven
Popes held power, the Papacy made Avignon, a thousand km from Rome, its centre and arguably at that time, the most powerful city in the world.