This magnificent building was built for Pope Benedict III in 1335 as a residence and a 'grand project'. It's the largest Gothic palace in the world (at 15,000 square metres) and is in the top ten most visited monuments in France (over 650,000 visitors per year).
During the first twenty years of construction, the 'Tower of Angels' and the Great Chapel were built along with a cloister and two stout towers for defence purposes.
Pope Clement VI added more towers, the Great Audience Hall and the Honour Courtyard ten years later. The palace is full of frescoes, hidden staircases, terraces, apartments and chapels.
The Palais des Papes hosts many cultural events throughout the year.
- "As this tourist attraction was just behind the hotel, it needed to be visited. Good open space and goon opportunity for photos. Best photo is from outside the walls - from one of the traffic bridges leading into Avignon. Good seeing people enjoying the space playing football and dancing - made for good atmosphere." - Trip Advisor
- “WOW, just WOW” - Trip Advisor
- "This building is massive, it goes on and on. It's an interesting place to visit and stunning in its size. Historical facts about popes before they were resident in the Vatican City, interesting. Mostly a shell with information boards. It's a stunning and lavish building. There are audio guides for about two euros in most languages. " - Trip Advisor
When to come
The Palais des Papes is open for visitors every day throughout the year.
How to get passes
You can buy tickets on line in advance or on arrival. You can the Palais on its own, or include the Pont d'Avignon as well for a nominal extra fee. Please check on the website or at the ticket desks when you arrive.