Palace sights in Avignon
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The immense Palais des Papes is the world’s largest Gothic palace and is a UNESCO world-heritage site. Built when Pope Clement V abandoned Rome in 1309 to settle in Avignon, it was the seat of papal power for 70-odd years. The immense scale, cavernous stone halls and vast courtyards testify to the popes' wealth; the 3m-thick walls, portcullises and watchtowers emphasise their insecurity.
Today, it takes imagination to picture the former luxury of these vast, bare rooms, but PDA-style audio-video guides introduced in 2012 show 2- and 3D imagery of the once sumptuous furnishings. Even without, you can see the splendour in the 14th-century chapel frescoes, painted by…