Coordinates: 43°57′N 4°49′E / 43.95°N 4.81°E / 43.95; 4.81

Avignon ( ; Occitan: Avinhon in classical norm or Avignoun in Mistralian norm) is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city (as of 1 January 2010), about 12,000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.

Often referred to as the "City of Popes" because of the presence of popes and antipopes from 1309 to 1423 during the Catholic schism, it is currently the largest city and capital of the département of Vaucluse. This is one of the few French cities to have preserved its ramparts, its historic centre, the palace of the popes, Rocher des Doms, and the bridge of Avignon. It was classified a World Heritage Site by UNESCO under the criteria I, II and IV.

As a showcase of arts and culture, the fame of its annual theatre festival, known as the Festival of Avignon, has far exceeded the French borders.

Read more about Avignon:  Geography, Administration, History, Ecclesiastical History of The (Arch)diocese, University of Avignon, Main Sights, Transport, Nuclear Pollution, Sur Le Pont D'Avignon, People Who Were Born or Died in Avignon

Famous quotes containing the word avignon:

    he was sitting
    and saying over
    those green words
    Laura and laurel
    written in Avignon ...
    Denise Levertov (b. 1923)

    Force is my lot and not pink-clustered
    Roma ni Avignon ni Leyden,
    And cold, my element. Death is my
    Master and, without light, I dwell.
    Wallace Stevens (1879–1955)