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Avignon coat of arms
Avignon (France)
Country France
region Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
Department (no.) Vaucluse ( Prefecture ) (84)
Arrondissement Avignon
Canton Avignon-1 , Avignon-2 , Avignon-3
Community association Grand Avignon
Coordinates 43 ° 57 '  N , 4 ° 48'  E Coordinates: 43 ° 57 '  N , 4 ° 48'  E
height 10– 122  m
surface 64.91  km²
Residents 91,729 (January 1, 2018)
Population density 1,413 inhabitants / km²
Post Code 84000
INSEE code
Website www.avignon.fr

The historical center around the Papal Palace (French: Palais des Papes )
View of the New Palace
The square of the Palais des Papes with the Petit Palais in the background of the square; behind the plain of the Rhone and the Pont Saint-Bénézet ; behind the Fort Saint-André of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon

Avignon [ aviˈɲɔ̃ ] ( oc. Avinhon or Avignoun [ aviˈɲũ n ]) is a town and municipality in Provence in southern France on the eastern bank of the Rhône with 91,729 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2018), of which about 15,000 live within the city walls . Avignon is the seat of the prefecture and the largest city in the Vaucluse department .

Since Avignon was the seat of the Pope from 1309 to 1376 - and during the subsequent Western Schism - the city is nicknamed "City of the Popes". The old town of Avignon with its magnificent medieval houses is surrounded by an intact and imposing fortification wall. The old town with the Gothic Papal Palace (Palais des Papes) from the 14th century, the episcopal complex, the Rocher des Doms and the famous bridge, the Pont Saint-Bénézet , is a UNESCO World Heritage Site . This is on everyone's lips through a folk song .

Artistically and culturally, the city is known far beyond France thanks to the Avignon Festival . In 2000 Avignon was the European Capital of Culture .



Aerial view of Avignon

Avignon is located at the confluence of the Rhône and the Durance , which flows south of the municipality and also forms the border with the Bouches-du-Rhône department . The Rhône is located west of the municipality and forms the border with the Gard department .

Neighboring communities

The municipalities of Caumont-sur-Durance , Morières-lès-Avignon , Le Pontet and Sorgues are adjacent to the east and north .

In the west, Avignon borders the municipalities of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon and Les Angles , which are part of the Gard department , while the Bouches-du-Rhône department with the municipalities of Barbentane , Rognonas , Châteaurenard and Noves lies in the south .

The next larger cities are Orange (in the north), Nîmes and Montpellier (in the southwest), Arles (in the south), Salon-de-Provence and Marseille (in the southeast).


The region where Avignon is located is very rich in limestone . The “molasse burdigalienne”, from which, for example, today's city wall of Avignon was built, occurs particularly frequently.

The most important calcareous elevation of the Uronic type is the Rocher des Doms within the city walls. The calcareous massif is distributed around the municipality (Massif des Angles, Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, Alpilles ) and is partly the result of the oceanization of the Ligurian - Provencal basin, which followed the movement of the Corsican - Sardinian continental block.

Another elevation of Avignon is the wooded hill of Montfavet to the east of the municipality.

The Rhône Valley has old alluvial soils : a large part of the soil there is covered by loose deposits made up of sandy silt . This is more or less colored by pebbles, which mainly come from silicate rock . The islands of the Rhône, including the Île de la Barthelasse , were created through the accumulation of alluvial debris and human intervention. The relief is not very pronounced, but the resulting mounds of earth are able to adequately protect the islands during floods.

The main soils found in the vicinity of the city are loam, silt, sand and lime.

Slate bell tower of the Augustinian Church

As evidenced by the appearance of crevices in the calcareous substrate , there have been tectonic activities that have triggered earthquakes in the various geological ages . The last major earthquake occurred on June 11, 1909. Traces of it are still visible in the city center and most clearly visible on the bell tower of the Augustinian Church in Rue Carreterie , which is slightly inclined as a result of the earthquake.


Bridges over the "great Rhone "
The Pont d'Avignon on the "little Rhône" with
Mont Ventoux in the background

The Rhône runs past the western outskirts, but is divided into two arms: one speaks of the "small Rhône" or the "dead arm" for the part that touches Avignon and of the "large Rhône" or "living arm" for the western part that grazes Villeneuve-lès-Avignon in the Gard department. In between there are a number of islands, including the Île de la Barthelasse as the largest. A canal was built parallel to the Rhône .

The banks of the Rhône and the island of Barthelasse can be affected by floods during autumn and mid-March . Maurice Champion mentioned some of them in 1861. By 1862, the flood of 1856 , which destroyed part of the city walls, was one of the most devastating. Others occurred in 1935 and January 1955. The floods are still a serious problem today, as the flood of December 2, 2003 showed. For this reason, a new cartographie du risque was created.

The Durance , which flows along the southern border of the municipality, flows into the Rhône and marks the border with the Bouches-du-Rhône department.

The municipality of Avignon has several natural or artificial bodies of water such as the lac de Saint-Chamond to the east of the city.

The city has numerous canals, which can sometimes form a complex canal system. The canals were built over time and once served to irrigate the arable land and to supply the moats that surrounded Avignon.

In the 10th century, part of the water of the Sorgue d'Entraigues , which now flows under the city walls to the city center, was diverted. The watercourses were called “ Canal de Vaucluse ”, but the locals still call them “la Sorgue” or “Sorguette”. It can be seen in the city center along the famous Rue des Teinturiers (Clothfärbergasse). It supplied the moats of the first city walls, then the new eastern city walls of the 14th century. In the 13th century (document from 1229) part of the water of the Durance was diverted to strengthen the supply systems of the moats and then to be diverted to Bonpas. These streams were later called "la Durançole". The Durançole supplied the city's western moats. They were also used to irrigate the Montfavet farmland . In the city center, these watercourses are mostly hidden under the streets or apartment buildings and now serve as sewers .

In addition, the Canal de l'Hôpital (which joins the Durançole) and the Canal de Crillon (1775) were dug, which irrigated the areas of Montfavet, Le Pontet and Vedène . The two channels are divided into numerous "vials" ( Provencal filhòlas or fiolo ). The Canal Puy (1808), which irrigated the former gardens in the south of Avignon, was created in the same way . All these channels divert the water of the Durance and were initially used to flood the once very stony soil and fertilize it with the limestone deposits.

The canals were also used to drive numerous mills .


Severe summer thunderstorm over Avignon (July 2000)

Avignon is influenced by the Mediterranean climate . Precipitation occurs in a rhythm of four phases: two dry seasons (a short one at the end of winter and a very long and strong one in summer ) and two rainy seasons (one in autumn with heavy rain up to downpours and one in spring ). The summers are warm and dry under the influence of subtropical high pressure areas, but are interrupted by sometimes violent thunderstorms . The winters are mild with little rainfall and rare snowfall.

According to Météo-France, there are an average of 45 days a year with more than 2.5 liters of precipitation per square meter. Overall, the annual rainfall averages 660 l / m². The average temperatures are between 0 ° C and 30 ° C, depending on the season. The record temperatures since the INRA station were recorded are 40.5 ° C during the 2003 European heat wave on August 5, 2003 (and 39.8 ° C on August 18, 2009) and -12.8 ° C on August 5, 2003. January 1985. The meteorological values ​​were measured in the Agroparc d'Avignon .

The main wind is the mistral , which can sometimes reach wind speeds of 110 km / h. It blows between 120 and 160 days a year, with an average speed of 90 km / h per gust . The following table shows the different speeds of the mistral recorded in the stations of Orange and Carpentras- Serres in the south of the Rhône valley and its frequency over the years 2005 and 2006. The normal values are based on the mean value for the last 53 years for the weather stations in Orange and on the mean of the last 42 years for Carpentras.

Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Avignon
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 10 12th 16 18th 23 27 30th 30th 25th 20th 13th 10 O 19.5
Min. Temperature (° C) 2 3 6th 8th 12th 15th 18th 18th 14th 11 6th 3 O 9.7
Temperature (° C) 6th 7.5 11 13th 17.5 21 24 24 19.5 15.5 8.5 7.5 O 14.6
Precipitation ( mm ) 36.5 23.3 24.9 47.5 45.6 25.4 20.9 29.1 65.8 59.6 52.8 34.0 Σ 465.4
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: MSN Météo

City structure

Map of the historic center of Avignon

For historical and strategic reasons, Avignon has developed between the Rhône, which served as the first natural defensive wall, and the Rocher des Doms , which offers a wide view (or a view of the Papal Palace). The city has a largely round shape that is expanded in several places. The first city walls appeared in the first century and were gradually modernized according to requirements.


Between 1790 and 1794, Montfavet was incorporated into the municipality of Avignon. Avignon then separated from Morières-lès- Avignon in 1870 and from Le Pontet in 1925 .

On May 16, 2007, the municipality of Les Angles in Gard gave thirteen hectares of land to Avignon.

Area and population

The municipality of Avignon has an area of 64.78 km² and a population of 91,657 (2010) and can therefore be classified as follows:

placement surface population Population density
FranceFrance France 524. 046. 632.
Blason region for Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.svg Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur 105. 005. 023
Blason département fr Vaucluse.svg Vaucluse 006th 001. 002.


The inner city refers to the part of the city that is within the city walls and is known in French as intra-muros . The majority of the buildings are therefore very old, but several districts have undergone major changes over the years (the rue de la République was breached during the Second Empire , “ Haussmannizedfacades were built , the Place de l'Horloge and today's town hall were redesigned in neoclassical style , as well as the theater and the quartier de la Balance ) and various buildings (post office, Lycée Frédéric-Mistral ) newly built.

In the 1960s, at the time of the establishment of the Secteurs sauvegardés (urban protection zones), Avignon became the subject of an important debate. The mayor at the time proposed a radical renovation of the quartier de la Balance , in which around two thirds of the buildings should be demolished without regard to monument protection. A compromise solution was finally found in which part of the district was actually completely rebuilt. Only the area near the Papal Palace was spared and received a real restoration .


In contrast to the city center with its narrow streets and a large number of old buildings, the outer districts (extra muros) are characterized by modern architecture. There are the following quarters:

  • to the north: Saint Jean Grange d'Orel, Reine Jeanne, Neuf Peyre
  • to the south: Saint Chamand, la Rocade Charles de Gaulle, La Croix des oiseaux, Les Sources
  • to the east: Pont-des-deux-eaux, La Croisière
  • to the west: Louis Gros, Champfleury, Monclar



The settlement of the area around Avignon goes back to the Neolithic Age , to the fourth millennium BC. The first traces of settlement could be detected on the steep rock hill Rocher des Doms , which protected the inhabitants from both enemies and from regular floods of the Rhône.

A little later, the Celtoligur warrior and fishing people of the Kavaren founded a first fortified settlement with the name Aouenion , which means something like "Lord of the waters".

Thanks to the favorable strategic location, the Phocaeans of Marseilles built a fortified river port and a goods transshipment point ( Emporion ) called Avenio in the sixth or fifth century BC , which was primarily intended to accommodate goods shipped downstream. The new name means something like "city of mighty winds" and can also be found on coins.

Under the from 48 BC At the beginning of BC Roman rule, the river port was expanded and the city was renamed Colonia Iulia Augusta Avenionesium . In addition, the city expanded into a thriving community. Emperor Hadrian granted it the status of a Roman colony .

Only a few remains of the Roman city have survived. Only parts of a portico and a forum still bear witness to the ancient architecture. Most of the buildings were probably destroyed or overbuilt during the time of the Popes.

Early and High Middle Ages

Christianization may have taken place at the end of the third century. Outside the city walls there was a small Christian community that is considered to be the forerunner of the Saint-Ruf Abbey .

Avignon lost its importance during the Great Migration . Wars and epidemics caused the population to decline, so that only a small area around the Rocher des Doms remained populated. In 737 the city allied itself with the Saracens invading Provence . In retaliation, the battle of Avignon was conquered by Charles Martell's troops , who burned the city to the ground.

Then began the development of feudalism and a long period of peace. The rule of the city was divided between the bishop, who owned his own palace next to the cathedral, and the Provence count, who resided on the summit of the Rocher des Doms.

Map of the Kingdom of Arles, annexed to the Holy Roman Empire in 1032

In 932, the kingdoms of Provence and Hochburgund formed the kingdom of Arelat , in which Avignon became one of the most important cities. With the annexation of the Kingdom of Arles to the Holy Roman Empire in 1032, Avignon and Provence came under the German Emperor . From now on, the Rhône formed the new western border of the empire with the Kingdom of France and could only be crossed over the old wooden bridge near Avignon.

In the twelfth century Avignon achieved the status of a self-governing city-republic based on the Italian model. During this time, the first ring of walls and the St. Bénézet Bridge were built, with which the city developed into an important transit point in the south of France.

At the time of the Albigensian Wars, the city fought on the side of the Albigensians and refused King Louis VIII to pass through in 1226, which led to the siege of Avignon . Avignon was starved for three weeks and eventually had to surrender. The fortifications were destroyed and the bridge was seriously damaged.

Around 1250, Ludwig's brother Charles I of Anjou abolished municipal self-government and put the city back under the rule of the counts. From 1290 it belonged to the Count of Provence Charles II of Anjou , who was both King of Naples and a loyal vassal of the Church.

Already in 1303, before the arrival of the Popes, Pope Boniface VIII founded the University of Avignon in competition with the Paris Sorbonne .

Papacy of Avignon

The Palais des Papes and the city of Avignon, miniature painting by the Boucicaut master at the beginning of the 15th century
( Bibliothèque nationale de France )

At the beginning of the fourteenth century power struggles in Rome resulted in Avignon becoming the seat of the popes and thus the capital of Christianity for seventy years . After the short pontificate of Benedict XI, who died in 1304 . His successor Clement V was crowned the first Pope on French soil with the support of the French King Philip the Fair . After the coronation in Lyon , the papal residence was first moved to the county of Venaissin , which had been papal property since the end of the Cathar Crusades. In 1309 the company moved to Avignon. Clemens' successor Johannes XXII. , previously Bishop of Avignon , initially took his permanent seat in the Episcopal Palace. Benedict XII. , a highly educated Cistercian , had the first part of the Papal Palace (Old Palace) built. Clement VI. , who was considered to be a lover of pomp and art, built the New Palace. He also bought the city in 1348 for 80,000 gold guilders from Johanna I of Naples and thus incorporated Avignon into the Papal States. Innocent VI. , who officiated from 1352 to 1362, owes the present city wall.

Already Urban V tried again to return to Italy, but it was only Pope Gregory XI. succeeded in prevailing against the French king and in 1377 moved the seat back to Rome. He received moral support from Catherine of Siena , who helped him to end his exile. Since the French cardinals with the choice of his successor Urban VI. were dissatisfied, they elected Clement VII as antipope , who again exercised his office from Avignon. With this election, the Great Western Schism set in , which led to the split in the Catholic Church and only ended again with the Council of Constance in 1414. As the last Pope, Benedict XIII. from 1394 to 1417 his pontificate in Avignon. A total of seven Roman popes resided in the city, as well as two counter-popes who were not recognized by the Catholic Church.

The relocation of the papal seat to Avignon should have a lasting effect on the cityscape. The mighty Papal Palace was built and a defensive wall around the city. There were also Gothic churches, monasteries and towers as well as impressive cardinal livrées. The new papal court became one of the most glamorous courts of the Middle Ages . With the papacy, the city began to flourish. Avignon became an intellectual, artistic and cultural center. In the wake of the Popes, many people flocked to the city, including cardinals, clerics, nobles, artisans and merchants. But architects, sculptors and artists were also attracted, such as the Italian painters Matteo Giovanetti and Simone Martini or the poet Francesco Petrarca . At the time, around 30,000 people are said to have lived in the city, making Avignon one of the major cities in Western Europe.

However, not all people could benefit equally from the new wealth. While the cardinals and nobles in particular lived in splendor and prosperity within the city walls, the poor outer districts were inhabited by more and more beggars , day laborers and prostitutes . The poor hygienic conditions favored the outbreak of the plague in 1349 , which killed around 11,000 people. In addition, the population suffered from periods of drought, famine and roaming pillaging soldiers of the Hundred Years' War .

Early modern age

After the departure of the last antipope at the beginning of the fifteenth century, Avignon and the county of Venaissin remained under the administration of a papal envoy . When Provence fell to the Kingdom of France in 1481 , the city even had the status of a papal enclave on French soil.

Avignon was not spared from the raging Huguenot Wars in France . After numerous church goods were destroyed by Protestants in Orange , papal troops were sent from Avignon to the city to massacre there. In retaliation, Avignon was besieged in 1562 by the Baron des Adrets .

In the centuries that followed, up to the French Revolution , Avignon had a happy period in which new houses, churches, monuments and hotels were built. An exception was the outbreak of the Great Plague in 1721, which decimated the city, which previously had 24,000 inhabitants, to a quarter of its population.

French Revolution by the 21st century

In Provence, the French Revolution took place mainly in the large cities of Marseille, Aix, Arles and Avignon. In 1790 Provence was divided into departments. For the formation of the Département Vaucluse, in the course of the incipient de-Christianization, a rapid annexation of the papal areas to France was demanded, which in Avignon led to a counter-revolution loyal to the Pope. However, this was unsuccessful. Revolutionary troops annexed Avignon and the county of Venaissin in 1791, thereby losing their special status. In 1793 Avignon became the capital of the newly created Vaucluse department. During the revolutionary struggles, many architectural and art monuments were destroyed in the city.

At the time of the Second Empire , the cityscape was further changed. The rue de la République was widened, the Place Pie was enlarged and pleasure gardens were laid out on the Rocher des Doms.


With 91,729 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2018), Avignon is the largest city in the Vaucluse department and the 44th largest city in France. With a land area of 64.78 km² , this corresponds to a population density of 1416 inhabitants per km². The annual population growth is 0.3% (average 1999-2018). The urban settlement area ( Unité urbaine ) of Avignon had 440,770 inhabitants in 2008, the municipal area (Aire urbaine) 507,626 inhabitants.

From 1793 to 1911 the population rose steadily from 24,000 to 49,304. The First World War caused an initial slight population decline. After the Second World War, an increase in the population was observed, which was mainly due to the influx of many European settlers from Algeria ( pieds-noirs ). In addition, immigration primarily from Italy , in the last decades from North Africa , v. a. Morocco and Turkey . Stagnation set in between 1975 and 2000. Various causes (service offerings, quality of life, tax burdens ...) could explain the loss of attractiveness of the municipality, the emigration of its inhabitants and the settlement in the surrounding municipalities. The city, whose main source of income is tourism, is one of the poorer and structurally weaker among the French cities; unemployment is almost 22%. Most recently, it was possible to partially counteract emigration by improving the infrastructure, such as the construction of the TGV train station or inner-city rehabilitation and development projects.


Sacred buildings

Notre-Dame-des-Doms cathedral
Interior view of the synagogue

Due to the strong Catholic presence in the past centuries, the number of sacred buildings that are interesting from an architectural point of view is high. There is a cathedral, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame des Doms d'Avignon , and numerous churches:

In the Synagogue of Avignon for several centuries, is the Jewish religion practiced. The synagogue was destroyed after a major fire in 1845 and completely reconstructed a year later by the architect Joseph-Auguste Joffroy .

The only Protestant church is the Temple Saint-Martial . With the church of Saints Cosme et Damien, the city also has a Greek Orthodox church building.

The Mosque de la Rocade , the Mosque of Monclar and a Turkish mosque are historically quite young . While most of the Catholic buildings are located within the city walls, the mosques are only on the outskirts.

There are also branches of Jehovah's Witnesses (near the Montfavet neighborhood), the Church of Scientology , the Lao Evangelical Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints .


Monument to Camille Claudel in Montfavet

There are four cemeteries in Avignon :

  • the Saint-Véran cemetery , created in 1820, extends over twelve hectares and houses 12,000 graves. A columbarium has been in the cemetery since 1999 , which is intended to accommodate burial urns. In the heart of the cemetery is a memorial to fallen Harkis .
  • the Montfavet cemetery extends over seven hectares and is home to 4,000 graves, including that of Camille Claudel . The cemetery also houses other religious communities (Jews, Muslims).
  • the Barthelasse cemetery currently has 125 tombs on exactly 2000 m²
  • the Saint-Roch cemetery (12th century) is the oldest. It extends over an area of ​​approximately 2000 m² . The place belongs to the lands of the Jewish community and is not open to the public.

Politics and administration

Avignon is the prefecture of the Vaucluse département , the arrondissement of Avignon and the seat of the Communauté d'agglomération du Grand Avignon .

Political tendencies

Avignon’s political life is predominantly conservative. In the 2007 parliamentary elections , the conservative UMP candidate Marie-Josée Roig , who was mayor of the city until 2014, won 55.52% of the vote (compared to 56.71% in the entire constituency, the first constituency of Vaucluse). In the 2007 presidential election , Nicolas Sarkozy received 52.02% of the vote in the second ballot , while he won 30.44% of the vote in the first ballot (compared to 28.68% for Ségolène Royal ).

Avignon residents voted no in the 2005 referendum on the European Constitution with 59.49% . 51.85% had rejected the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 . Françoise Grossetête (UMP) won the European elections in 2009 with 25.39%, ahead of Michèle Rivasi of Europe Ecologie ( 18.17% ), the socialist Vincent Peillon ( 16.52% ), the candidate of the Front National Jean-Marie Le Pen ( 10.61% ) and others who did not reach the 10% . The turnout was 38.76% . In the 2012 presidential elections , the residents of Avignon voted 30.87% for the candidate of the Parti socialiste , François Hollande , Nicolas Sarkozy only received 23.12% of the vote and Marine Le Pen 20.51%. In the second ballot, Hollande won 54.92% compared to 45.08 for Sarkozy.

In the local elections in France in 2014, the Social Democrats were able to recapture the town hall of Avignon against the national trend: The list of the Parti socialiste under the leadership of Cécile Helle received 47.5% of the vote (40 seats) in the second ballot, the Front National's list of Philippe Lottiaux came second with 35% (9 seats), while Bernard Chaussegros' UMP only came in 17.5% (4 seats).

City administration

Town hall on Place de l'Horloge

In addition to the town hall, Avignon has eight civil offices .

Avignon is the prefecture of Vaucluse and therefore has numerous administrative buildings, especially the Archives départementales of Vaucluse, which, like all departmental archives, were created in 1796, or the Center départemental de documentation pédagogique du Vaucluse .

Household Income and Taxation

In 2007, the average tax revenue per household was 13545 euros, placing Avignon 28,198 among the 30,714 French municipalities with more than 50 households.

Budget 2007

The budget of February 15, 2007 for 2007 planned with a total of 218.7 million euros .

With an operating sum of € 150.4 million , the municipality was considering self-financing of € 19.7 million .

The net income is made up as follows:

  • € 53.9 million in tax revenue and fees
  • € 44.5 million Grand Avignon
  • € 43.4 million in government grants
  • 0€ 8.2 million remaining income

Since 1996 the housing tax has decreased (from 22.41 to 19.24) and the property tax for undeveloped areas (from 62.36 to 55.18). The property tax for built-up areas remained the same (25.64).

The operating expenses are made up as follows:

  • € 67.3 million in personnel and related costs
  • € 29.5 million in subsidies and quotas
  • € 23.9 million purchase of goods and services
  • 0Finance costs of € 9.7 million
  • 0€ 0.2 million remaining expenses


Taxation of households and businesses in Avignon in 2009
tax Part of the community Cross-community part Departmental part Regional part
Housing tax 20.49% 00.00% 07.55% 00.00%
Property tax for developed land 27.31% 00.00% 10.20% 02.36%
Property tax for undeveloped land 58.77% 00.00% 28.96% 08.85%
Business tax 00.00% 24.56% 13.00% 03.84%

The regional part of the housing tax was not listed.


Bust of Guillaume Puy

Five mayors have been elected in Avignon since 1953:

List of mayors since 1953
Period Surname Political party job
1953 1958 Edouard Daladier Parti radical-socialist  
1958 1983 Henri Duffaut SFIO afterwards PS  
1983 1989 Jean-Pierre Roux RPR  
1989 1995 Guy Ravier PS  
1995 2014 Marie-Josée Roig RPR then UMP  
2014 til today Cécile Helle PS  


In 2002 Avignon was at the top of the crime statistics for French cities with more than 25,000 inhabitants, with 173.35 crimes per 1000 inhabitants. Only in a few smaller towns like Saint-Tropez were there more crimes per capita. In 2009 Avignon was still in second place among cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants (behind Saint-Denis ) with 120 criminal offenses per 1000 inhabitants .

In 2005, the social unrest in the French suburbs, which had started in the Parisian area, also spread to Avignon. In October 2010, twelve Islamists were arrested in France, including some in Avignon. They planned to smuggle jihadists into France.

Environmental policy

Potential natural and technological risks to the community include: floods (and mudslides ), landslides , dam bursts , earthquakes, and the transportation of dangerous goods .

In its January 2003 edition, Ça m'intéresse magazine published a ranking of waste sorting in the largest cities in France, with Avignon ranked first. In seven years, the city more than tripled the amount of segregated waste collected, from around 1,000 tons in 1996 to 3,190 tons in 2003.

Ten garbage collection points are available to the Avignonese, four of them in the city center and six in the outskirts.

Since May 2003 an "environmental force" of the local police has been tasked with tracking down illegal garbage dumps, graffiti sprayers and noise nuisers.

The Communauté d'agglomération du Grand Avignon is responsible for the treatment and disposal of household waste . There is also an appropriate facility for waste from industry and commerce in the greater Avignon area.

Radioactivity monitoring

Nuclear power plants in France

Avignon is equipped with an aerial radioactivity monitoring station, as it is located to the south of two vulnerable plants upstream of the Rhône: the Tricastin nuclear plant and the uranium enrichment plant of Pierrelatte are 70 km away and the is about 30 km away decommissioned Marcoule nuclear power plant . The city is also equipped with a water balise to monitor water radioactivity in the Rhône.

Air quality

An air quality indicator (“ATMO”) is measured over the city every day. On average, the air is rated as “good” or “very good” in 60 percent of the cases, 38 percent as “medium” or “inadequate” and only 2 percent as “bad”. These results are favored by the mistral , which acts as a diffuser.

Noise abatement

In the municipality of Avignon, the authorities of the Service environnement hygiène santé and the municipal police are responsible for combating noise . Several measures have been taken to combat noise: the adoption of a municipal ordinance, fee-based warnings, the erection of noise barriers , the purchase of electric vehicles, etc. The main cause of the noise pollution is the Avignon-Caumont airfield, especially through its aerobatic operations . The ADRAC (association de défense des riverains de l'aérodrome de Châteaublanc) signed in October 2001, after six years of negotiations, a “Charter of Good Conduct” with other partners ( Aéroclub Vauclusien , City of Avignon, etc.). During the flight club's open days in spring 2009, however, the presence of a Tucano led a residents' association to complain again about the aircraft, including the aerobatic pilots who had not flown in the flight club for three years by then.

In January 2005 the fourth conference for the qualité de l'environnement sonore (quality of environmental noise) was held in Avignon .

City symbols

coat of arms


In Vermilion three pole as horizontal with the beard to the right -pointing golden key with a cross cut in beard and a quatrefoil Ride .
The shield holders are two gyrfalcons , each with a bell on their paw, and surmounted by a crown in the form of a tinned city wall.


The motto is Unguibus et rostro and literally means “beak and claws” (à bec et à griffes) , similar to the French phrase à bec et ongles .

The city's logo shows part of the Pont Saint-Bénézet with AVIGNON in capital letters above it. It is a fuzzy, falsified photograph of the bridge, the arch of which has been stretched unusually long. The yellow ocher color contrasts with the sky and the water of the Rhone , the bridge can be identified by its chapel . There are several versions. The slogan "VILLE D'ESPRIT" can be written under the bridge at the bottom.

Protection cartridge

Throughout its history, the city of Avignon has received several patron saints. Statues of these saints were erected during the remodeling of the banks of the Rhone in the eighteenth century.

Town twinning

Avignon maintains the following city partnerships and collaborations:

city country since Type
Colchester United KingdomUnited Kingdom England, UK 1972 cultural cooperation
Diourbel SenegalSenegal Senegal 1961
Guanajuato Coat of arms of Guanajuato.svg MexicoMexico Mexico 1990 cultural cooperation
Ioannina GreeceGreece Epirus, Greece 1984 Twin town
New Haven United StatesUnited States Connecticut, United States 1978 Twin town
Siena Stemma di Siena.svg ItalyItaly Tuscany, Italy 1961 cultural cooperation
Tarragona Escut de Tarragona.svg SpainSpain Catalonia, Spain 1968 cultural cooperation
Tortosa Escudo de Tortosa.svg SpainSpain Catalonia, Spain 1967 Twin town
Wetzlar Coat of arms Wetzlar.svg GermanyGermany Hessen, Germany 1960 Twin town

The cooperation with Guanajuato has existed since the arrival of the city representatives in 1989 at the Avignon Festival .

Culture and sights

View to the northeast with Mont Ventoux in the background

The city of Avignon is not just an administrative center, but ostensibly an artistic and cultural venue and a city with a rich cultural heritage. For a long time it bore the title “City of Art”, which was abolished in 2005 and replaced by the title “ Cities and Countries of Art and History ”. However, the municipality decided not to continue to use this new name.


city ​​wall

The first thing you notice when you approach the city center is the high city ​​wall from the 14th century . It is approximately four kilometers long and is flanked by 39 towers and seven main gates that are spread around the old town. The former moats were filled in and converted into parking spaces , but the wall has still retained its former height, which provided the inhabitants of Avignon with good and safe protection.

Historical old city

Left and right wing of the St-Pierre church Left and right wing of the St-Pierre church
Left and right wing of the St-Pierre church

In the old town you will find many churches, one of which is the parish church of St-Pierre d'Avignon , a former collegiate church built around 1356 in the southwest of the papal palace with a late-Gothic facade from the early 16th century that is well worth seeing . The beautiful flamboyant ornaments were made by the glass painter Philippe Garcin, who was then based in Avignon, and are displayed on the facade as a flat relief. The portal decorate precious wooden Renaissance - door that created the Burgundian sculptor Antoine Volard in the 1551st

Other buildings worth seeing are the cardinal palaces , the townhouses with facades from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries , the monasteries (Capuchin monastery), an opera , several small squares (place de l'Horloge) and museums (lapidarium, requien museum , Musée Calvet , Louis Voulant Museum, Musée du Petit Palais , Maison Jean Vilar , an outbuilding of the French National Library ), a listed library, a listed hat making shop (the only one in France), the Chapellerie Mouret, a "green wall", which is hung on the north side of the market halls and of course the Papal Palace with its cour d'honneur and its many outbuildings.

Papal Palace

From 1309 to 1417, the Papal Palace was the seat of the so-called Avignon Papacy and the residence of the Popes. In 1309, the French King Philip IV, through power-political intrigues, pushed through the election of a French-born Pope who did not reside in Rome but in Avignon. Philip thus overturned the fundamental self-image of the Catholic Church, namely that its head should reside in Rome because the first pope , the apostle Peter , is traditionally the first bishop of Rome . Of course, Viterbo and Anagni also served as long-term papal residences in the course of papal history, but more for practical reasons. Avignon became a stumbling block to emphasize French power: starting with Clement V , seven popes from France took their seat in Avignon. In 1377, Gregory XI. his residence again in Rome, which the French cardinals did not recognize, who elected an antipope the following year and thus initiated the schism that gave the Catholic Church two popes who did not recognize each other until the end of the Council of Constance (1417).

The Papal Palace was mainly built by Benedict XII. and Clement VI. built, the third and fourth French Pope. Clement VI. also bought the city of Avignon from Queen Joan of Naples. The city remained part of the Papal States until the French Revolution .

Jean Froissart described the palace as "the most beautiful and overwhelming property in the world". The palace was built on the Rocher des Doms , the only hill that was close enough to the Rhone and on which the Notre-Dame des Doms cathedral stands.

Pont Saint-Bénézet

If you leave the old town and turn towards the embankments, you come to the famous stone bridge of Avignon , the Pont Saint- Bénézet . Of its twenty-two arches built over the Rhône in the 14th century , only four arches withstood the flood of 1668, so that the bridge ends in the river today. The building, which replaced a wooden structure first erected in the 12th century and renewed several times, is best known for the folk song Sur le pont d'Avignon (Eng. On the bridge of Avignon). The origin of this song, which was originally called Sous (dt. Under) le pont d'Avignon , lies in the time when the bridge still led to the Île de la Barthelasse. took place under the arches of the bridge.

The pope palace from the 14th century and the bridge Saint-Benezet from the 12th century are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site .

Parks (selection)

The jardin des Doms

The city of Avignon owns 26 parks and public gardens, with a total of around two hundred hectares of green space.

Gardens and parks include:

Cultural institutions

Avignon has several cinemas, including two Utopia cinemas and two independent cinemas ( Art et Essai , Cinéma de recherche ). The first consists of four rooms and is located at La Manutention , the second has only one room and is located on rue de la République .

The city also has numerous theaters, an opera and several art galleries.


Avignon has 12 libraries with a total of more than 500,000 books. The most important of these is the Ceccano media library, which was set up in the Cardinal Palace of Ceccano and houses more than 250,000 media units (books, manuscripts, prints). Precious manuscripts from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and a collection of religious iconography are particularly important .


Musée Calvet in the town house of Villeneuve-Martignan

In addition to the Papal Palace and its many buildings, the city of Avignon has several small museums that offer different collections:


First theater, 15th century

The great premiere of a mystery play that was performed in a local language took place in the 14th century . On November 27, 1372, Philippe de Mézières , in consultation with Pope Gregory XI. to play a performance called Legenda Presentationis Beate Maria in the Cordeliers Franciscan Church of Avignon. Before the mass there were festivals and processions, with musicians disguised as angels and singing actors performing a Provencal play called ad exitandum populum ad devotionem .

The theater performances had changed their style in the course of time and should from now on also be played inside. They were recorded in the Jeu-de-Paume -halle by Sieur Daniel Herbouillet in the rue de la Bouquerie. This was then sold to Nicolas Mignard , who visited Molière there between 1655 and 1658 .

Opera theater

The Avignon Comedy Theater was the first building in the city specially constructed for the production of plays. It was in operation from 1734 to 1824, designed according to the plans of Thomas Lainée . One of the directors was Fabre d'Églantine . According to the Englishman James Butler , the then Duke of Ormonde , it was the most beautiful theater in France:

“To make the city even more pleasant, I helped build a theater hall, which is certainly the funnest in France. It attracts theater troupes from the country and we then have comedy performances for more than six months a year. "

- James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormonde

It was replaced by a new theater built on the Place de l'Horloge in place of the disused Benedictine monastery of Saint-Laurent. The first performance was given on October 30, 1825. Destroyed by fire on January 30, 1846, it was rebuilt in the same place and completed in 1847. Joseph Girard , curator of the Musée Calvet , considered it the most outstanding building of the 19th century in Avignon.

Avignon Festival

Parade at the festival

The Avignon Festival has been held every July since 1947, with numerous theater, dance and song performances. In addition to the “in” performances, which are funded by public institutions, there are also hundreds of “off” performances by private theater groups. During the festival there is a lot of activity in the streets, especially in the Rue des Terniers, on the Place d'Horloge and the square at the Palais des Papes.

In the 1940s, the art critic Christian Zervos and the poet René Char asked the actor, director and theater director Jean Vilar to perform the play Murder in the Cathedral , which was staged in 1945, as part of a modern art exhibition that was held in the great chapel of the Papal Palace . After it failed to live up to expectations, Vilar proposed three more first-time productions: The Tragedy of King Richard II ( Shakespeare ), a play that was misunderstood in France, La Terrasse de midi by the also unknown author Maurice Clavel, and The Story of Tobias and Sara by Paul Claudel .

In consultation with the municipality, the courtyard of the Papal Palace became the venue for the Une semaine d'Art en Avignon event , which took place from September 4 to 10, 1947 and from which the festival developed. 4800 spectators initially experienced seven events at three different locations (the courtyard of the Papal Palace, the city theater, the orchard of Pope Urban V ).

In addition to the big festival, the city offers numerous other events:

  • Les Hivernales d'Avignon (contemporary dance festival)
  • Avignon / New York & Avignon Film Festivals (Euro-American film meeting, independent film festival)
  • Avignon Jazz Festival


Baranka grandstand in the Parc des Sports of Avignon

Sport in Avignon takes place in an organized form as a popular sport in around 120 clubs.

Avignon, like all major French cities, has numerous sports facilities (several stadiums and city pools, ice rinks, bowling centers, golf courses, dojo's , etc.). A variety of sports can be practiced on the facilities, regardless of whether they are public or private. The largest sports venues in the city are the Parc des Sports , the Stade de Saint-Ruf , the Cosec Moretti , the Palais Omnisports Champfleury , the Palais de la Glace (Ice Palace) and the Hippodrome Roberty .

The municipality of Avignon is also the birthplace of some sports personalities such as the Formula 1 driver Jean Alesi or the footballer Cédric Carrasso , who played in the youth department of Avignon Football 84 before moving to Olympique Marseille .

Every year numerous sporting events such as the Tour des Remparts or the 10 km de la Cité des Papes are organized, as well as football tournaments and events in boules , boxing, gymnastics, rugby, rock 'n' roll (dance) , inline skating, etc.


When the Papal Palace was being built in the mid-fourteenth century, Italian artists such as Simone Martini and Mateo Giovanetti came to Avignon. To train young French painters, they founded the Avignon School, which is considered the starting point for Renaissance painting in France. B. Enguerrand Quarton produced . One of the most important works is the Pietà by Villeneuve-lès-Avignon , which hangs in the Louvre today .


Avignon was considered the center of the Félibrige movement. Théodore Aubanel and Joseph Roumanille lived in the city . Frédéric Mistral studied here and published his Mireia . For this reason, Avignon is often referred to as the “brain of the felibrige”. Félix Gras lived in rue Sainte-Praxède , which bears his name today, very close to his brother-in-law's library in rue Saint Agricol , and was considered the "undisputed boss of the second Félibrige generation". At the founding meeting of the movement in Font-Ségugne , the members decided to publish a magazine, the first edition of which was called l'Armana prouvençau pèr lou bèl an de Diéu 1855, adouba e publica de la man di felibre . The magazines were initially printed in Avignon until the middle of the 20th century, and later in the Bouches-du-Rhône department . From 1891 to 1899 the movement also published the weekly newspaper L'Aïoli, journal hebdomadaire, édité à Avignon, Palais du Roure .

Culinary specialties


The “real” Avignon gastronomy is typically Mediterranean and is particularly characterized by the use of olive oil , onions and a large selection of herbs. The use of olive or other oil is also typical of Occitan cuisine , in contrast to northern France, which mainly uses butter.

Avignon is also represented in Provencal cuisine with a wide variety of recipes . A lot of vegetables are used, especially legumes such as lentils, beans, chickpeas , but also tomatoes, artichokes , eggplants and zucchini . The use of grains such as spelled , but also spices such as garlic and thyme is characteristic of Provence . The typical Provencal can be found in numerous local dishes that are still prepared by the Avignonese today: daube , aioli , ratatouille , spelled soup, etc.

There are at least five typical Avignon specialties, which, even if they cannot be restricted to the Avignon area, have a clear Avignon identity. Traditional specialties include steamed allis shad , Avignon stave , papeton d'aubergine , the crespeou and the berlingots . Modern specialties are the navarin en avignonaise and the Papaline d'Avignon .


Vineyard at the Rocher des Doms
Inner-city vines at the foot of the Jardin des Doms

During the papal era of Avignon, the Vinea Vespalis ("Bischofsweinberg") on the Plain-de-Lunel was one of the most famous wine-growing areas within the city walls. It belonged to the canons of Avignon until July 11, 1364 . On this date, Pope Urban V allowed his brother Anglic de Grimoard to dispose of the vineyard at will. In a bull the Pope authorized him to exempt his vassals on the Vinea Vespalis from all tax burdens and the cathedral chapter expropriated his vines in order to grant them to his youngest brother. The other vineyards are located in the eastern part of the city "Grands Jardins", an undeveloped area between the city walls, and in the southern Champfleury, which served as a plague cemetery in 1348 .

But these vines, which were grown as high vines, have long been sufficient to supply the papal city. Each Pope supplied himself with local wines as well as other wines that had come to Avignon by the river route. Eventually a vineyard called Grand Avignon was planted . In the Comtat Venaissin , the wines from Malaucène , Bédarrides , Valréas , Carpentras , Apt and of course from Châteauneuf-du-Pape had priority. Vineyards from Languedoc such as those of Saint-Gilles , Tavel , Bagnols-sur-Cèze or Villeneuve-lès-Avignon supplied the papal wine cellars . In the Provence wines came from Manosque , Toulon and Saint-Remy . Certain types of wine came up or down the Rhone , such as the Cante-Perdrix , the famous Beaucaire wine , the Clos de Vougeot and the Hermitage .

Avignon is currently claiming the title of “Capital of the Côtes du Rhône”, as the city has the headquarters of Inter Rhône in the Hôtel de Rochegude , which as an umbrella organization brings together the wine associations of the Côtes du Rhône and the AOC de la vallée du Rhône .

Economy and Infrastructure

Avignon is home to around 7,000 companies, 1,500 associations, 1,700 shops and 1,300 service companies that employ more than 35,000 people. From 1999 to 2010 the unemployment rate was around 22% . Slightly less than a third of all employees are white-collar workers, blue-collar workers and employees in non-technical occupations each make up around 25% . Around 10% are managers or can be assigned to the education sector. Craftsmen, traders and managers are around 6% , less than 1% work in agriculture. There are only two industrial companies with more than 100 employees: EDF (Grand Delta) with around 850 employees and Onet Propreté with a little more than 300 employees. The tertiary sector is by far the most dynamic in the department.

Avignon is the seat of the Vaucluse Chamber of Commerce and Industry . This manages the Avignon airport and the commercial port of Le Pontet .

There are nine large business parks in Avignon (zone d'activité). The main business park is in Courtine and is home to almost 300 companies (half of which are service companies, one third are trading companies, and the rest are industrial) with 3,600 employees. The area covers an area of ​​300 hectares and is located southeast of the municipality, at the level of the TGV train station . It is followed by the Courtine industrial estate with around 100 companies and 1000 employees. However, compared to Courtine, the area is primarily geared towards trading companies. The industrial area of ​​the Marché d'intérêt national (MIN), the Agroparc (or "Technopole Agroparc") and the industrial area of ​​Christole are adjacent and each house a little less than 100 companies. There is an INRA center in the area, which has been conducting scientific research for forest and cultivated areas since 1953 and specializes in environmental engineering and environmental project planning. The areas of Castelette, Croix de Noves, Realpanier and the airport each have fewer than 25 establishments divided between services and commerce.

A free economic zone was set up south of Avignon , in which the companies located there have to pay less tax and social security contributions. It is located between the ramparts and the Durance , in the Croix Rouge, Monclar, Saint-Chamand and Rocade districts.

With regard to the cultivation of fresh vegetables in the Vaucluse department , the Marché d'intérêt national pushed the local markets of the department into the background and became a structural pole for the commercial sector. In the years 1980–1990, the development of goods traffic between northern and southern Europe strengthened Avignon's position as a logistics hub and favored the emergence of transport and logistics companies.


Several newspaper agencies are located in Avignon: La Provence , Vaucluse Matin , Hebdo Vaucluse , Midi Libre , La Marseillaise , Petites affiches de Vaucluse , Actualités Avignon , Vu sur le pont , but also the free magazines Bonjour 84 and Plus Hebdo .

Both local and national radio stations broadcast from the city: Chérie FM (88.1 MHz) , France Bleu Vaucluse (98.8 MHz) , Virgin Radio (formerly Europe 2 ) (89.0 MHz) , Nostalgie Vaucluse (102.8 MHz) MHz) , NRJ Vaucluse (98.2 MHz) , RAJE Avignon (90.3 MHz) , RCF Radio Lumières (104.0 MHz) and RFM Vaucluse (95.9 MHz) . For television, the French studio of France 3 broadcasts .


Four million visitors come to Avignon annually to visit the city, region or festival . This makes the city, along with the Luberon and Mont Ventoux, one of the main tourist centers in the Vaucluse department. In 2010, almost half of all hotel overnight stays in Avignon were booked. Almost all hotels are fully booked during the festival in July.

The International Congress Center has occupied two wings of the Papal Palace since 1976 . Ten reception and work rooms are available for the events. The large prestige halls Grand Tinel and Grande Audience in the visitor area of ​​the palace are used in addition to the meeting rooms for the organization of cocktail parties, gala dinners, exhibitions, etc.


Thanks to its location on the Rhône and its proximity to larger cities such as Marseille or Nîmes, Avignon has good transport links. It is connected to the A7 (E714) autobahn (also known as Autoroute du soleil ), with two junctions: "Avignon nord" and "Avignon sud", and the A9 (E15) autoroute with the Remoulins junction .

The main main roads are the Route nationale 100 , which continues east towards L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and west towards Villeneuve-lès-Avignon and Remoulins to join the A9 after 20 km. The Route nationale 7 leads east, then forks into an expressway in the north and meets the Route départementale 225 again .

The city offers seven paid monitored parking spaces and two free monitored park-and-ride parking spaces with a capacity of 1200 spaces, with free shuttles that run into the center of the city.

From October 2019 Avignon will again have a tram . A meter-gauge tram operated in the greater Avignon area from 1889 to 1932.

Avignon can be reached via two train stations : the historic Avignon-Center train station from 1860 is located on the Paris – Marseille railway line outside the city center and can be reached by any type of train. In 2001, the Avignon TGV station in the Courtine zone was completed three kilometers south of the city center for the LGV Méditerranée high-speed line . It can be reached with the TGV from Paris ( Gare de Lyon ) without stopping in 2 hours and 40 minutes and from Lyon (Part Dieu) without stopping in 1 hour 10 minutes . Other direct connections exist, among others. to Marseille , Brussels , Strasbourg , Geneva and Frankfurt am Main ; in the summer months, a pair of Thalys trains runs from Amsterdam to Marseille once a week .

Avignon Airport is eight kilometers southeast of the city and is served by various British airports. The airport handles approximately 80,000 passengers a year. Marseille Airport is 80 km south and Montpellier Airport 90 km southwest .

The Rhône has been an important transport route for the city for centuries. The water traffic in Avignon benefits from two commercial ports, from moorings for cruise ships . A free water taxi is also used on site.

A Vélopop station outside the city walls

Avignon has 145 kilometers of cycle paths and was equipped with a cycle system in July 2009, the Vélopop . The Vélopop is managed by the TCRA (Les Transports en Commun de la Région d'Avignon) , the transport network of the municipalities in the greater Avignon area.

public sector

The largest employers in the municipality are the Henri Duffaut Hospital Center, the Avignon City Hall and the Montfavet Clinic, each with 2,000 employees. Then comes the General Council of Vaucluse with about 1,300 employees.


Avignon benefits from 27 public kindergartens , 34 public elementary schools , and five private kindergartens and elementary schools. The school canteens distribute around 4,000 meals a day. In the municipality there are a total of nine public and four private comprehensive schools , as well as eight public and four private high schools , including the Lycée Frédéric-Mistral .

At vocational schools in Avignon there are nine CFAs with different origins (food industry, Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Avignon and Vaucluse, Chamber of Crafts of Vaucluse, construction industry, Center de ressources de techniques avancées (CRTA)) and a wide range of offers, including 24 schools and institutions for training and further education.

The Conservatoire de danse du Grande Avignon offers training in dance, music and acting. The municipal art school École d'art d'Avignon is only accessible via an entrance examination and teaches various areas of the visual arts ( drawing , painting, spatial staging , photography, video, multimedia), cultural history, contemporary art history and scientific approach to art (science and art, Physics and chemistry).

University of Avignon

Classic facade of the main building of the University of Avignon (former Sainte Marthe hospital)

The University of Avignon has approximately 7,600 students. It combines four UFRs , one IUT and one IUP and primarily offers academic courses in the fields of culture, agricultural science and computer science.

Founded in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII , it was then promoted by Charles II , King of Sicily and Count of Provence. The university held its own for nearly 500 years and was closed by decree on September 15, 1793. Avignon went back academic in 1963 with the opening of a scientific university center. A year later, a university center for philology opened .

The two institutions originally belonged to the University of Aix-Marseille and merged into an academic center in 1972, which became a full university on July 17, 1984 under the name Université d'Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse (independent of the University of Aix-Marseille) . At that time, three UFR (humanities, natural sciences, applied natural and language sciences) shared 2000 students. The law as a fourth branch emerged from a law faculty, which was housed in an outbuilding of the University of Aix-Marseille III . A technical college (IUT) followed in 1990 and an IUP in 1992.

In order to avoid an overly wide distribution of students (ten locations in 1991) and to liven up the city center, it was decided to combine the various educational institutions in one location and also to accommodate the community facilities there (especially the libraries and canteens). The former Sainte-Marthe hospital, where the first lectures were held in 1997, served as the new location.


Avignon is home to the most important health facilities in Vaucluse, including the only child emergency room in the department. The two largest clinics in the municipality are the Avignon Henri Duffaut Hospital Center and the Montfavet Hospital Center .

The Avignon Clinic sees itself as a facility with a nursing mandate (provision of emergency medical aid, implementation of public health measures) and is also responsible for research, teaching and training. The Montfavet Clinic is primarily a psychiatric clinic and has departments for adult, child and adolescent psychiatry as well as a Maison d'accueil spécialisée (MAS) and a department for work assistance. The center is located five kilometers east of Avignon in the Montfavet district, on the hill of Montdevergues .

There are also several private clinics.

Courts and administrative bodies

Avignon is the seat of a regional court , a commercial court , a district court and a labor court . The seat of the courts is in the courthouse on Boulevard Limbert.

Avignon is also the seat of a Chamber of Notaries and a Chamber of Commerce.

The former gaol in Rue Banasterie 55a was closed and after Pontet laid. The prison is currently being renovated and converted into a 90-room Marriott luxury hotel that is expecting its first guests in 2013.

Avignon in art and the media

Paintings, engravings and sculptures

The Jesuit father Étienne Martellange made a drawing showing Avignon around 1617. It is also associated with the Carte aux personnages from the same year and with the map drawing from the Atlas van Loon .

Avignon, only in work titles:

films and series

Several films have been made in Avignon, but the city is rarely the focus of the action. Mention should be made:

In the autobiographical documentation The Beaches of Agnès by Agnès Varda (2008) you can see Varda's photo exhibition at the festival in the Saint-Charles chapel.

In addition, two French TV series are playing in the city: La Demoiselle d'Avignon (1972) and La Prophétie d'Avignon (2007), which was filmed in the Papal Palace.

Avignon in literature

Avignon and the Papal Palace have often served as the setting for literary acts, especially in French literature. Among the best-known works are probably Gargantua and Pantagruel by Rabelais or the letters from my mill by Alphonse Daudet , which refer to the time of the Popes. There are also numerous mentions of well-known travelers such as Francesco Petrarca , Anne Marguerite Petit Du Noyer or Stendhal , but their impressions and views are quite different. Avignon is described by some as a peaceful, idyllic city in which it is good to live. Others such as Prosper Mérimée are astonished at the imposing Papal Palace, which is sometimes disliked due to its fortress-like character. Perhaps the most uncomfortable in Avignon was Petrarch, who felt downright repulsed by the big city and preferred to live in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse .


On June 20, 1938, the French Post Office issued a stamp of the Papal Palace, drawn by André Spitz and minted by Jules Piel , with a face value of three francs.

Every year since 1960, the Société philatélique Vauclusienne et Provençale has organized a Journée du Timbre to Avignon, for which illustrated cards with a view of the Pont Saint-Bénézet and the Papal Palace are published.

In 1974 the Isle of Man Post issued a stamp showing the Pont Saint-Bénézet .

In 1997, the Postal Administration of the Islands of Wallis and Futuna dedicated one of its issues to the fiftieth anniversary of the Avignon Festival. The postage stamp with a face value of 160 francs shows symbols for theater, music and dance in the middle, as well as the papal palace lit by fireworks.

In memory of Jean Vilar, the Post issued a double-face stamp on June 8, 2001 (three francs and 0.46 euros) with the Papal Palace in the background.

In 2009, the French postal administration issued a stamp with a face value of 0.70 euros. It shows the entire Palais des Papes including Avignon Cathedral from the west and was designed by Martin Mörck .


There are numerous personalities associated with the city of Avignon and its history. Avignon has not only produced countless sons and daughters , but has also shaped many famous people from outside the country . These include above all popes and cardinals ( Annibaldus von Ceccano , Hélie de Talleyrand-Périgord ), former or current politicians, military personnel ( Juan Fernández de Heredia , Raymond de Turenne ), athletes , sculptors ( Jean-Pierre Gras , Camille Claudel ), painters ( Claude Joseph Vernet ), members of the first ( Simone Martini , Matteo Giovanetti ) and second schools of Avignon ( Enguerrand Quarton , Nicolas Froment ) or of the ( Groupe des Treize ), architects ( Pierre Mignard , Jean Péru , Jean-Baptiste Franque ), Singers ( Fernand Sardou , Mireille Mathieu ), writers ( Henri Bosco , Pierre Boulle , René Girard ) and poets ( Petrarca , Alain Chartier , Théodore Aubanel or other members of the Félibrige ).


  • German
    • Otto Berthold (Ed.): Kaiser, Volk and Avignon. Selected sources on the anti-curial movement in Germany in the first half of the 14th century . WBG, Darmstadt 1960.
    • Anne-Marie Hayez, J. Verger: Avignon . In: Lexicon of the Middle Ages (LexMA) . tape 1 . Artemis & Winkler, Munich / Zurich 1980, ISBN 3-7608-8901-8 , Sp. 1301-1304 .
    • Anneliese Maier : The last catalog of the papal library of Avignon (1594) . In: Ed. di Storia e Letteratura . Rome 1952.
    • Ralf Nestmeyer : Provence & Côte d'Azur . Michael-Müller-Verlag, Erlangen 2007, ISBN 978-3-89953-367-5 (travel guide).
    • Ralf Nestmeyer: Provence and Côte d'Azur. Literary travel pictures from the Midi . Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-608-93654-8 .
    • Joseph Roth : Places. Reclam, Leipzig 1990, ISBN 3-379-00575-4 , pp. 171-182 (travel report)
    • Cony Ziegler: Provence with Camargue travel guide. Tips for individual explorers . Iwanowski Verlag, Dormagen 2004, ISBN 3-933041-19-8 .
  • French
    • Paul Achard: Dictionnaire historique des rues et places de la ville d'Avignon . Ed. Seguin aîné, Avignon 1857 ( books.google.fr ).
    • Jules Courtet: Dictionnaire géographique, géologique, historique, archéologique et biographique du département du Vaucluse . Avignon, 1876.
    • André Hallay: Avignon et le Comtat Venaissin . Paris, 1909.
    • Joseph Girard: Avignon, histoire et monuments . Ed. Dominique Seguin, Avignon 1924.
    • Joseph Girard: Evocation du vieil Avignon . Ed. de Minuit, Paris 2000, ISBN 2-7073-1353-X (first edition: 1958).
    • Sylvain Gagnière : Histoire d'Avignon . 1979.
    • Robert Bailly: Dictionnaire des communes du Vaucluse . Ed. A. Barthélemy, Avignon 1986.
    • Fernand Benoit : Avignon au double face . rééd. Équinoxe, Barbentane 1996.
    • Anne Bourret-Porée: Demeures secrètes du vieil Avignon . Ed. Équinoxe, Barbentane 2000.
    • Hervé Aliquot: Avignon, de Montfavet à Villeneuve . Ed. École Palatine, Avignon 2004.
    • Le Palais des Papes . 3. Edition. Ed. Gaud et Ed. RMG Palais des Papes, Avignon 2004, ISBN 2-84080-063-2 (guide de visite).
    • Jean Favier : Les papes d'Avignon . Fayard, Paris 2006, ISBN 2-213-62524-7 .
    • Michel Albarède, Michel Arnaud, Gilles Cotin, Valérie Jacq: Vaucluse (=  Encyclopédies du Voyage ). Gallimard Loisirs, Paris 2007, ISBN 2-7424-1900-4 , pp. 136-175 .
    • Sophie Cassagnes-Brouquet: Sur les pas des papes d'Avignon . Ouest France éditions, ISBN 2-7373-3414-4 .
    • Dominique Vingtain: Avignon le Palais des papes . Editions Zodiaque, ISBN 2-7369-0240-8 .

Web links

Commons : Avignon  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Avignon  - travel guide


  1. a b c d e Relief et géologie sur le secteur d'Avignon. Retrieved July 12, 2012 (French).
  2. The epicenter of this earthquake was Lambesc , a village in Bouches-du-Rhône.
  3. Maurice Champion: Les Inondations En France Depuis Le VI Siaucle Jusquaa Nos Jours. Paris 1861.
  4. ^ "Les inondations de 1935 dans la région d'Avignon" ( Memento of November 30, 2009 in the Internet Archive ), documentary - Office français d'informations cinématographiques - January 1, 1944. (Video is offline)
  5. "Inondations à Paris et à Avignon" documentary - JT 20 H - ORTF - January 23, 1955.
  6. Inondations du 2 December 2003 en image . Archived from the original on April 1, 2009. Retrieved December 28, 2011.
  7. Mieux concilier protection et développement . Archived from the original on?. Retrieved December 28, 2011. Official notice from Vaucluse.
  8. ^ "La rue des teinturiers - Avignon" Avignon-et-Provence.com
  9. ^ Etude hydrogeologique à la confluence Rhône-Durance
  10. The climate of Vaucluse. ( Memento from July 22, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  11. ^ Jean Vialar: Les vents régionaux et locaux. 1948; post-processed by Météo-France in 2003.
  12. Données météorologiques concernant l'année 2006 ( Memento of November 13, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Services techniques d'Inter Rhône à Avignon
  13. ^ Données climatologiques d'Avignon 2000-2007
  14. a b c Sources Annuaire des Mairies
  15. L'urbanisme du XXe ( Memento of the original dated February 23, 2011) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / archives.avignon.fr
  16. Les secteurs sauvegardés. (PDF) pp. 180-183 , archived from the original on October 26, 2005 ; Retrieved July 12, 2012 (French).
  17. a b c d Cony Ziegler: Provence with Camargue. 2nd Edition. 2009, p. 346.
  18. a b c Stefan Brandenburg, Ines Mache: Provence. 6th edition. 2008, p. 220.
  19. ^ A b Giovanna Magi: Provence. 1982, p. 17.
  20. Albarède, Arnaud, Cotin and Jacq: Vaucluse. 2007, p. 136.
  21. ^ Cony Ziegler: Provence with Camargue. 2nd Edition. 2009, pp. 346-347.
  22. Albarède, Arnaud, Cotin and Jacq: Vaucluse. 2007, pp. 136-137.
  23. ^ A b Cony Ziegler: Provence with Camargue. 2nd Edition. 2009, p. 347.
  24. a b c Stefan Brandenburg, Ines Mache: Provence. 6th edition. 2008, p. 225.
  25. Catalog général des cartulaires des Archives départementales , Paris 1847, p. 213.
  26. a b c d Stefan Brandenburg, Ines Mache: Provence. 6th edition. 2008, p. 226.
  27. Pierre Miquel: Les Guerres de religion. 1980, p. 233 .
  28. Giovanna Magi: Provence. 1982, p. 18.
  29. ^ Stefan Brandenburg, Ines Mache: Provence. 6th edition. 2008, p. 88.
  30. ^ Stefan Brandenburg, Ines Mache: Provence. 6th edition. 2008, pp. 220-221.
  31. Avignon on annuaire-mairie.fr. Retrieved January 6, 2012 (French).
  32. Insee - Results du recensement de la population de 2008 - Unité urbaine d'Avignon. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on December 15, 2012 ; Retrieved January 6, 2012 (French).
  33. Insee - Results du recensement de la population de 2008 - Aire urbaine d'Avignon. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on December 15, 2012 ; Retrieved January 6, 2012 (French).
  34. Les paroisses d'Avignon ( Memento of the original of March 10, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.diocese-avignon.fr
  35. ^ Church of Scientology Mission of Avignon
  36. L'église évangélique laotienne à Avignon . Archived from the original on October 30, 2004. Retrieved December 28, 2011.
  37. Addresses des Eglises ( Memento from January 10, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  38. Cimetière de Saint-Véran ( Memento of February 12, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  39. Saint-Véran - Détails et plans ( Memento from 1 October 2011 at the Internet Archive )
  40. ^ Cimetière de Montfavet
  41. a b Cimetières Barthelasse et Saint-Roch
  42. Ministère de l'Intérieur - Élections législatives de juin 2007
  43. Scrutin présidentiel de 2007 - Murs
  44. Ministère de l'Intérieur - Scrutin du 29 May 2005
  45. Ministère de l'Intérieur - Scrutin du 20 September 1992
  46. Ministère de l'Intérieur - Élections Européennes de 2009
  47. lemonde.fr
  48. Les mairies annexes
  49. CC-Résumé statistique / com, dep, zone empl (INSEE) .
  50. a b c Le Projet de Budget Primitif pour 2007 (PDF; 510 kB)
  51. Taxe d'habitation .
  52. Taxe foncière
  53. Impots locaux à Rasteau
  54. Criminal Statistics 2002
  55. Criminal Statistics 2009 ( Memento from April 17, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  56. ^ Spiegel online: Violence claims first death
  57. ^ Spiegel online: Anti-terrorist unit arrests twelve Islamists
  58. ^ Seismic zone 1a, see seismicity .
  59. a b c Tri sélectif des déchets
  60. La propreté, c'est l'affaire de tous
  61. Surveillance de la radioactivité de l'air et de l'eau
  62. Qualité de l'air
  63. a b c Les nuisances sonores dans les grandes villes et agglomérations ( Memento of the original dated May 16, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 193 kB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.grandesvilles.org
  64. Actes des quatrièmes Assises de la qualité de l'environnement sonore
  65. Association de défense de l'Riverains of aérodrome Chateaublanc
  66. The aircraft was only intended for a floor exhibition.
  67. ^ Association de Défense des Riverains de l'Aérodrome de Chateaublanc. Archived from the original on March 3, 2008 ; Retrieved July 12, 2012 (French).
  68. Information about the coat of arms of the city on the side of the town hall.
  69. Malte-Brun , in La France illustrée , Volume V, 1884.
  70. ^ Saints et Bienheureux sur le site du diocèse d'Avignon
  71. Saint Ruf ( Memento of September 24, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  72. les saints de Provence ( Memento of September 24, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  73. Jacques Baudoin, Grand livre des saints: culte et iconographie en Occident , 2006, p. 401.
  74. ^ Renée Lefranc, Et le pâtre Bénezet fit un pont pour Avignon. Ed. RMG-Palais des Papes, Avignon 2000, ISBN 2-906647-35-7 , pp. 19-20.
  75. ^ Jumelages: Mairie d'Avignon - Site officiel. Retrieved August 16, 2020 .
  76. ^ Atlas français de la coopération décentralisée et des autres actions extérieures. Retrieved June 14, 2017 .
  77. a b Avignon capitale culturelle et artistique du Vaucluse
  78. Avignon ne s'est pas construite en un jour
  79. City Hall website - green spaces (French)
  80. Les bibliothèques
  81. Dominique Logna-Prat, Eric Palazzo, Daniel Russo: Marie. The culte de la Vierge in the société médiévale. Paris 1996, p. 75
  82. ^ Joseph Girard, p. 197 .
  83. ^ Joseph Girard, p. 226 .
  84. Joseph Girard: p. 179 .
  85. Joseph Girard, p. 180 .
  86. ^ Festival d'Avignon - Histoire
  87. Robert Abichared: Festival d'Avignon. In: Emmanuel de Waresquiel, Dictionnaire des politiques culturelles de la France depuis 1959 , Paris 2001.
  88. a b Clubs sportifs à Avignon
  89. Les équipements sportifs à Avignon
  90. Simon Calamel, Dominique Javel: La langue d'oc pour étendard , Toulouse, 2002.
  91. Joseph Girard: p. 91 .
  92. ^ Joseph Girard: p. 186 .
  93. ^ Joseph Girard: p. 246 .
  94. Fernand Benoît: La Provence et le Comtat Venaissin. Avignon, 1992, p. 337 .
  95. a b c Bernard Ely, La cuisine des provençaux - Saveur, santé, art de vivre. Edisud. 1997.
  96. Chanoine Albanès, Ulysse Chevalier, Gallia Christiana Novissima , T. I à VII, Montbéliard-Valence, 1899 - 1920.
  97. Joseph Girard, Evocation du vieil Avignon , S. 247th
  98. ^ Jean-Pierre Saltarelli, Les vins des papes d'Avignon , Bulletin de la Société scientifique, historique et archéologique de la Corrèze , t. 127, 2007, pp. 73-78.
  99. ^ Official website of the Inter-Rhône
  100. a b Le Grand Avignon.
  101. ^ L'emploi à Avignon
  102. Cleaning company.
  103. a b Avignon, une ville carrefour qui cherche sa place (PDF; 545 kB)
  104. a b c d e f Principales zones d'activités du département (PDF; 88 kB)
  105. Les exonerations dans la zone franche urbaine d'Avignon
  106. Cartes et plans de la zone franche urbaine d'Avignon
  107. a b Les médias locaux .
  108. CSA - Authorization de RAJE Avignon (84). ( Memento from February 10, 2012 in the Internet Archive ).
  109. Avignon in numbers (French)
  110. Activité hoteliere en Vaucluse - bilan année 2010 (PDF; 135 kB)
  111. Avignon - Transports .
  112. "Le vélib débarque à Avignon".  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www2.avignews.com  
  113. website Velopop
  114. TCRA website
  115. Listes de écoles d'Avignon
  116. a b c Enseignement supérieur
  117. Ecole d'Art d'Avignon
  118. ^ Commission des archives départementales, communales et hospitalières: Catalog général des cartulaires des Archives départementales. 1848, p. 213 .
  119. ciphers-clés .
  120. Histoire du center hospitalier de Montfavet.
  121. ^ L'ancienne prison d'Avignon sera bientôt un hôtel de luxe
  122. ^ Reproduction of the work Les Demoiselles d'Avignon
  123. a b c films tournés in le Vaucluse
  124. Block of four, with date stamp in lower left corner. The postage stamp issued by the PTT in 1938 shows the Papal Palace of Avignon and the Saint-Bénézet bridge .
  125. Postal edition of the Isle of Man from 1974 with the Pont Saint-Bénézet.
  126. ^ The postage stamp issued by the islands of Wallis-et-Futuna from 1997 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Avignon Festival.
  127. ↑ Postage stamp issued in 2001 with Jean Vilar in front of the Papal Palace
  128. Papal Palace - Avignon , postage stamp from 2009.