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Photographer's Note

Detail of Palais des Papes, Stairs Sainte-Anne street, Avignon, Vaucluse district.

At the back of the Palais des Papes (Popes’ Palace), the small shaded Stairs Sainte Anne street adjoins some of his twelve towers.

The top battlements belongs to the Trouillas Tower, located at the northeast corner of the palace. Completed during the pontificate of Clement VI, it essentially had a defensive function, with walls up to 4.5 meters thick.

Contiguous to it, the Latrines or Icehouse tower, of which we can see the top corner, has a name that recalls its former position. The highest part of the tower housed the palace housing of the Captain.

Iconic landmark of Avignon, the Palais des Papes is the largest Gothic palace of the West. It was built in less than 20 years from 1335. It occupies a dominant position thanks to its location on the Rocher des Doms. The architectural ensemble of the Rocher des Doms, which includes, besides the Palais des Papes, the Notre-Dame des Doms cathedral, the Petit Palais, the ramparts and the St Benezet bridge, is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1995.

The Palais des Papes reflects a period of 109 years where the heart of Christianity beat in Avignon rather than Rome. During this period, nine popes have succeeded. Or more precisely, 7 +2. Clement V (1305-1314), John XXII (1316-1334), Benedict XII (1334-1342), Clement VI (1342, 1352), Innocent VI (1352-1362), Urban V (1362-1370) and Gregory (1370-1378) are the seven "regular" popes installed in Avignon, mainly for political reasons. At the end of his pontificate, Gregory XI returned to Rome. Clement VII (1378-1394) and Benedict XIII (1394-1429) are Popes from the Great Western Schism (1378-1417). For forty years, two Churches have lived, each with its own pope. Clement VII has been elected by rebellious cardinals.

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