Besides being a small medieval town Avignon is home to some important UNESCO World Heritage sites. The first one we visited was Palais des Papes. We arrived in Avignon late afternoon, and on our way to dinner…we saw this view and was completely overwhelmed. It was incredibly majestic. And, since it was night time, a bit creepy for us, just like all gothic architecture seem to look like at night. It felt like it was a castle that vampires had inhabited.
The Palais construction began in AD 1252. Avignon became the residence of the Popes in 1309. Back in the day, the town life centered around this palace and fortress.
The place looks completely different during the day. It is definitely a walk through history. You can walk around the outside and appreciate this stately structure, or venture inside and experience the history of this palace yourself.
Pont D’avignon is another UNESCO site of the city and a beautiful view of the Rhone river. It was built between 1177 and 1185. I was a little shocked at how dirty the Rhone river was…I mean, I had been drinking the wine that was made with this water since August…
If you climb up to the garden next to Palais des Papes, you will get a better view of the bridge. Thank goodness for the sunny day!
At a small piece of land near the garden, they are constructing a vineyard, making wine specific to this very town. It will begin in 2015 with the first bottles coming out 2017/2018. Pretty cool, yeah?
On our first night, we dined at a restaurant directly in front of the Palais called Le Moutardier du Papes. Loved the small dining atmosphere. The food is simple but focuses on fresh ingredients. We had chicken with chanterelles and white carrot mash, fish filet and this incredibly aromatic and buttery polenta. I’m never a fan of polenta, but this one was delicious! I wouldn’t skip the dessert! Try their poached pear and apple crumble! Both made to perfection. We were really happy with our dinner there.
On our second night we dined at La Forchette, which is great homemade style food, though dessert wasn’t too satisfying. I unfortunately don’t have any pictures because we were both just too hungry. For appetizers, the escargots were great. The daube de boeuf Avignonese was also spot-on.
I would recommend both if you’re visiting! Definitely make reservations! Although it wasn’t tourist season, all the good restaurants still get filled up 😉