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Spring 2022

Discover Paris in the spring, Caen in Normandy and its marvellous markets plus Yvoire, a picturesque village on the edge of Lake Geneva in Haute-Savoie. Explore Saint-Omer, a historic city in the far north that's full of secrets and treasures, and Evian, where Frankenstein's monster stayed! Head with us to Metz in Lorraine to find out about its incredible past, La Couvertoirade, one of the prettiest villages in France, and the UNESCO heritage of Avignon. Guides, gorgeous photos, what's new in France, the best tours and delicious recipes from the legendary Le Nôtre bakery in Paris - and more.

Discover Paris in the spring, Caen in Normandy and its marvellous markets plus Yvoire, a picturesque village on the edge of Lake Geneva in Haute-Savoie. Explore Saint-Omer, a historic city in the far north that's full of secrets and treasures, and Evian, where Frankenstein's monster stayed! Head with us to Metz in Lorraine to find out about its incredible past, La Couvertoirade, one of the prettiest villages in France, and the UNESCO heritage of Avignon. Guides, gorgeous photos, what's new in France, the best tours and delicious recipes from the legendary Le Nôtre bakery in Paris - and more.

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For many, the first thing that springs to mind when thinking of Avignon in Provence is

the well-known French children’s song about dancing on a bridge in the city:

“sur le pont d’Avignon, l’on y danse, l’on y danse”. But did you know that the 12th

century bridge is UNESCO listed? And it’s not the only UNESCO-listed site in this

medieval city…

The UNESCO-listed sites of Avignon

Palais des Papes and the

Place du Palais

From 1309 to 1377 Avignon was the seat of

seven successive Catholic Popes beginning

with Clement V, a Frenchman. Unrest in

Rome and politics played a part in the

decision to move papal power to Provence.

Of course the Popes had to have somewhere

suitable to live. The monumental Palais des

Papes, the Popes’ Palace, was built between

1335 to 1352 and over the years there were

more modifications. Jean Froissart, a 14th

century chronicler and writer who visited

Avignon, described it as “the most beautiful

and strongest house in the world” and it

housed Europe’s largest library at the time. It

wasn’t cheap to build, costing 400,000 Livres

(the French currency at the time), six times

what Pope Clement VI spent when he bought

the city of Avignon from Johanna, Countess

of Provence, in 1348 – the city was only

reclaimed by France in 1793.

Set in the immense Place du Palais, the palace

is as big as five cathedrals with a whopping

15,000 m² of floor space (three times the size

of the White House in Washington DC). It is

the biggest Gothic palace in the world.

When the Papal court was moved back to

Rome, dissident cardinals in Avignon “elected”

50 | The Good Life France

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