- Quiet, hidden residential courtyard
- Signs of medieval prosperity/affluence
- Located in Avignon’s “Exchange” quarter
- Smoke damage to the porous limestone
- Oxidized bronze bell, beauty with age
Avignon was originally a Phoenician trading post during the High Antiquity. Avignon then became a flourishing Roman town.
It suffered greatly from the barbarian invasions, followed by the Moors and the Francs in the High Middle Ages. With the expansion of trade, 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. Great Italian banking houses followed the Popes and settled in the city. The city was a prosperous centre for money exchange and trade. The architecture reflected this prosperity. This was a papal territory up until the French Revolution. Avignon entered into relative anonymity in the 19th Century only to come back as a cultural capital in the 20th Century.
The jewel-like bell has defied the ravages of time.