Avignon is a commune in the Vaucluse department in southeastern France in the Region Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur with an estimated mid-2005 population of 90,800 in the city itself and a population of 290,466 in the metropolitan area at the 1999 census. The city is well known for its Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes), where several popes and antipopes lived from the early 14th to early 15th centuries. Avignon is situated on the left bank of the Rhône, a few miles above its confluence with the Durance, about 580 km (360.4 mi) south-south-east of Paris, 229 km (142.3 mi) south of Lyon and 85 km (52.8 mi) north-north-west of Marseille. Avignon occupies a large oval-shaped area, not fully populated and covered in great part by parks and gardens.
- 1 HISTORY OF AVIGNON
- 2 WHAT TO VISIT ?
- 3 TIPS
- 4 COUCHSURFERS
- 5 TRANSPORTATIONS
- 6 IN CASEOF EMERGENCY
- 7 WEBSITES
- 8 INTERESTED LINKS
HISTORY OF AVIGNON
The era of the Popes somewhat eclipses other events in what is a long and tumultuous history. At the crossroads of the big trade and migratory routes between northern and southern Europe and between Italy and Spain, the city played a major role in European history. A Phoenician trading post during the High Antiquity, Avignon then became a flourishing Roman town. It suffered greatly from the barbarian invasions, followed by those of the Moors and the Francs in the High Middle Ages. With the expansion of trade, and benefiting from its strategic position and its bridge over the Rhône, it had the status of a free town, strong and arrogant enough to defy the King of France. The presence of the Popes made Avignon the capital of the Medieval western world in the 15th century. A papal territory up until the French Revolution, the city actually benefited little from the first Industrial Revolution. It entered into relative anonymity in the 19th century only to come back as a cultural capital in the 20th century. Avignon is the cradle of the Félibrige, a revival of Provençal literature and its Theatre Festival, started in 1946 by Jean Vilar, gives it international prestige.
More informations about the History of Avignon on the wikipedia:Avignon !
WHAT TO VISIT ?
People in Avignon also have the chance to have plenty of theaters nearby, and an excellent independent cinema called Utopia. There can be sometimes rock concerts on the place Pie, next to les Halles.
The orientation is not so complicated in the city center. The center is delimited by city walls all around. Just beside the city walls on the North and at the West lies the river Rhône on which is the famous Ile de la Barthelasse island. South of the city walls lies the train station Avignon centre. Inside the walls, the main orientation marks are the huge building of Palais des papes, which is just next to the place de l'horloge square which is quite easy to recognize, with all its cafés on terrace. The street going straight from this square to the train station is also a good mark for orientation, it's called la rue de la république. On this street you will find the tourist office. After the tourist office the street changes its name to Cours Jean Jaurès, named after a famous early XXth French politician.
Another mark to know is les Halles and the place Pie square just next to it. Les Halles is a covered market with a car parking on higher levels. You can follow the street rue de la bonneterie to go from the place de l'horloge to les Halles. Continuing on this street after les Halles, you will reach the paved street rue des teinturiers which is very active and refreshing in summer because of the cool river Sorgue running next to it, but also a bit dead and cold in winter.
Free Internet/Wifi Access
- Maison pour Tous Montclar - Adress: 1 place Jean-Philippe Rameau - Tel: 04 90 88 45 07
- MJC Croix-des-Oiseaux - Adress: Rue du Tambour d Arcole - Tel: 04 90 87 56 46
- Agence de développement social urbain - Adress: 30 avenue Monclar - Tel: 04 90 82 60 89
- formatic - Adress: 14 rue Bancasse 84000 AVIGNON - Tel: 04 32 74 08 36
- Association Repères - Adress: 10 rue de rateau - Tel: 04 90 16 08 55
- Ecole d Art d Avignon - Adress: 7 rue Violette - Tel: 04 90 27 04 23
- Maison pour Tous Champfleury - Adress: 2 rue Marie Madeleine - Tel: 04 90 82 62 07
- Atelier Multimedia du Centre Social Villemarie - Adress: 7 allée des Acacias - Tel: 04 90 60 44 50
- Centre social de la Reine-Jeanne - Adress: 3 rue Péniscola - Tel: 04 90 89 17 19
- Foyer 77 - Adress: 77 et 81 rue Guillaume Puy - Tel: 04 90 16 77 77
- Avenir 84 - Adress: 27 bis avenue de la Trillade - Tel: 04 90 86 59 91
- Grenier à Sel - Adress: 2 rue du Rempart Saint-Lazare - Tel: 04 90 16 05 31
- Centre social la fenêtre - Adress: 6 avenue François Mauriac - Tel: 04 90 87 31 27
- Vie Associative - Adress: 66 Boulevard Jules Ferry - Tel: 04 90 85 22 58
- ATELIER WOUEB - Adress: 6 avenue françois mauriac 84000 Avignon - Tel: 04 90 87 31 27
Nice & Cheap Places to eat and have a drink
- Pub Z ---> 58 Rue de la Bonneterie, MAP
- Gambrinus ---> 62, Rue Carreterie, MAP
- Red sky ---> rue Saint-Jean le Vieux, MAP
- AOC ---> 5, Rue de Trémoulet, MAP
- La Vache à Carreaux ---> 14, rue Peyrolerie, MAP
- Les filles au piano ---> 10,Rue Galante, MAP
- Le fenouil à vapeur ---> 4, rue du portail Magnanen, MAP
There are about 300 Couchsurfers in Avignon and its area. You can check the CS Group of Avignon or simply a couchsearch to find and contact them.
There are sometimes some meetings organised in Avignon, just check the CS Group of Avignon to see what happen in the city and/or the Regional CS Group of Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur to see if there is any event in the area.
Coffee or a Drink
Here is a list of persons who are ready to have a drink with you and/or show you the city:
How to get to Avignon
- By train : . Avignon is at the crossroad of Paris-Marseilles/Nice and Spain/Montpellier-Marseilles or Spain-Montpellier/Lyon ways. In other words, there are plenty of trains stopping in Avignon. Note that there are two big train stations in Avignon : the first and old one is called "Avignon Centre" and is really next to the historical city center. The second one is newer and farther, called "Avignon TGV" and as its name suggests it is mainly used by french fast trains TGV. A shuttle links the two stations. timetable/shuttle pdf
- By coach : The regional coach station is just next to the train station "Avignon centre", a few steps from the historical city thus.
- By car : There are 2 highway. The first one the highway A7 (Paris-Marseilles) has two exits to Avignon. n°23 Avignon-Nord and n°24 Avignon-Sud. The second the highway A9 (Orange-le Perthus close to spain) Remoulins exits n°23 about 25 min of Avignon.
- By carpooling : You can find a driver or passenger to share the ride and cut on travel cost. In France carpooling is very popular and is called "covoiturage". Try Envoiture.fr to get to Avignon.
Bus / Transports inside the city
Buses are the main public transports in the city. They are convenient when you have to go outside the city center, however all the distances inside the center are easily done walking. There is also a free shuttle-boat which crosses the river Rhône, on the north side, to reach the island de la Barthelasse.
Shuttle between cities
- Timetables / shuttles (pdf):
- More information and other Shuttles:
tél : 04 90 27 81 83
IN CASEOF EMERGENCY
- Police Station:
Tel: 17 or 04 90 16 81 00
Gendarmerie: 04 90 80 50 00
- Health Urgency:
SAMU Tel: 15
Hôpital Henri Duffaut: 04 32 75 33 33
- Fireman Station:
Tel: 18 or 04 90 88 33 18
- Emergency Doctor:
SOS Médecins (24h/24): 04 90 82 65 00
- Festival D'avignon
- News paper