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A little history of place de l'Horloge in Avignon

The square | Véronique PAGNIER / CC-BY-SA
Street District Place de l'Horloge in Avignon

The current place de l’Horloge ("Clock square") is the former place du Grand-Marché, magnum macellum in Latin, the "public butcher": the main city square in the Middle-Ages! The current square was laid out in 1743 by Jean-Baptiste Franque.

The clock

On this square, we had the city hall and its clock, first: the first city hall was founded in 1447, then razed in 1844... except its tower raised in 1471, transformed into a belfry in 1481: a tower with 3 floors.

Before the transformation, cardinal Ardouin Aubert, pope Innocent VI’s nephew, fit it out between 1353 and 1363. They put their archives on the second floor, fit out a chapel on the first floor and a watch tower on the third one.

The square's successive landscapings

Then, we have Calvet de La Palun city house, raised between 1789 and 1796 by Jean-Pierre Franque.

We also had the city theatre, raised in 1823 to replace the small theatre of Crillon square in Avignon (destroyed by a fire in 1846 then rebuilt by Feuchères and Charpentier). The façade’s decorations were made by Klagmann and Chenillon from Paris.

You’ll recognize allegories of rivers Durance and Vaucluse, with statues of king René, poet Petrarch, writers Corneille and Molière!

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!