Square sights in Avignon
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A golden statue of Virgin Mary (weighing 4.5 tons) stands on the dome of Romanesque Cathédrale Notre Dame des Doms (built 1671–72), her outstretched arms protecting the city. Next to the cathedral, hilltop Rocher des Doms gardens provide knockout views of the Rhône, Mont Ventoux and Les Alpilles; there's also a playground. Opposite the Palais des Papes, the much-photographed building dripping with carvings of fruit and heraldic beasts is the former 17th-century mint, Hôtel des Monnaies.