At the far end of the Square of the Popes' Palace, the elegant silhouette of the Petit Palais creates a counterpoint to its imposing neighbour. It was the palace of the archbishops of Avignon, built in the 14th century.
The Renaissance façade of the Petit Palais in Avignon
Upon the death of Cardinal Bérenger Frédol the Elder, the Cardinal Arnaud de Via purchased this vast residence. Nephew of the reigning Pope John XXII, he began extending it by buying up the neighbouring houses. Upon his death, Pope Benedict XII transferred the episcopal see there and the work then carried out by Anglic Grimoard gave the Petit Palais its present-day layout.
The south and west façades, in a Renaissance style, date from the end of the 15th century and are the work of the archbishop of Avignon, Julien de la Rovère, the future pope Julius II, known as the “Warrior Pope” and a patron of the arts, as well as being one of the greatest figures of the Renaissance.
Now, the Petit Palais is a museum. More than three hundred painted and sculpted works take you on an exceptional journey through the heart of the artistic creation of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.