The place Pie and its wild Protestant

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The square - ©Véronique PAGNIER / Public domain The square - ©Véronique PAGNIER / Public domain
Place Pie in Avignon Street District Treason Revolt Jean-Perrinet Parpaille Wars of Religion

Naughty Parpaille!

A rebel

The place Pie is closely link to the destiny of Jean-Perrinet Parpaille, in the 16th century. A strange guy, this Parpaille, who ended his life on the gallows!

He was born in Italy and was a correct man, pope's councilor, working in Avignon University. A fervent catholic, too, who fought against Protestants. But suddenly, he changed religion, in 1562! Parpaille... probably inspired the French naughty word parpaillot, which means a Protestant, at that time.

Anyway, our Parpaille was pretty rebel! He wanted to give his city to enemies, and confessed his new religion in public. Then, he could become the new Protestant leader in Orange city! He wanted to attack his native city of Avignon...

For that, he tried to besiege Châteauneuf-du-Pape, to transform it into his headquarters, where he could launch an attack. In vain... Greatly piqued, he plundered Barjol and Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres. Then he told his henchmen to sell in Lyon all their precious things they stole in churches, to transform them into golden crowns...


But when he came back from Lyon, in May 1562, he was arrested in Bourg-Saint-Andéol (not very discreet, he was dressed up as a soldier!). They locked him in the castle of Mondragon (Vaucluse) until the trial.

Then they translated him in Avignon, in September 1562. In this city, he was put in a cage, hanging on the current place Pie, so people could saw him... Judged, Parpaille told everything. And he was condemned for treason! They decapitated him on September 9th, in the morning.

They let his corpse on the gallows and, at night, they buried him in the cemetery of Grey Penitents... except his head: it was displayed in front of the Popes' palace, with a sign saying he was a heretic and a traitor.

The place Pie

Parpaille’s house, meanwhile, was razed by a huge crowd: on the foundations, they raised the place Pie, dedicated to the period pope! The square was blessed with cannons shots on January 30th 1563. Then, in 1762, they built a market place.

And also!