Since April 20, 2018, all municipal museums in the city of Avignon are free for everyone.
This is an opportunity to discover or rediscover these places of culture and history.
The 5 free museums are the museum Calvet, Requien, the Petit Palais, Lapidaire and the palace of Roure.
The Requien Museum
Address: 63, rue Joseph Vernet, Avignon
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 6 pm
Type of museum: natural history museum
We owe this museum to the will of Esprit Requien (1788-1851). He worked all his life to create and support this museum. He said: “The thought of my whole life was to endow my hometown with a museum of natural history, worthy of it, I did it I think and it took all my activity, turn my time and the sacrifice of most of my heritage … “.
Very young, he became passionate about botany and began his cabinet of curiosity. He donated all the things he had accumulated. However, it will be necessary to wait until 1903 so that the public can see part of this collection. In 1943, the museum will settle definitively in the premises that it occupies at present.
In this museum, you will discover the fauna and flora of Vaucluse since pre-historic times. It is the fifth herbarium in France and it has over a million plant and mineral animal species.
The museum of Petit Palais
Address: Place du Palais, Avignon
Opening hours: Wednesday to Monday from 10 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 6 pm
Museum type: museum of Italian primitives (paintings)
Built in 1317, the Petit Palais was almost exclusively the livery of the cardinal bishops of Avignon although Pierre d’Aigrefeuille occupied it during his episcopate without having been named cardinal.
During the first siege of the Palace of the Popes (1398-1408), the Petit Palais served as barracks for the troops commanded by Geoffroy le Meingre. Rodrigue de Luna will annex it, during the second siege (15th century), to the defence system of the palace.
The classification of various elements as historical monuments took place in 1910.
Practically abandoned it was recovered by the State and the city of Avignon in the early 1970s and restored and restructured in order to make a museum, the Museum of the Petit Palais opened in 1976. It is a unique museum in its genre, since it is mainly based on painting before the second half of the sixteenth century, it has none the less one of the most important international collections of Italian primitives, with 325 paintings of more than 130 artists, and the largest in France with that of the Louvre Museum.
The Roure Palace
Address: 3 rue du College du Roure, Avignon
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 6 pm, closed on public holidays
Type of museum: Mediterranean culture
It all began when Pierre Baroncelli acquired the mulberry tavern and adjacent houses in 1469. He established his home there. Over the centuries, improvements will be made by the Baroncelli family, who were an important family in Avignon. In the nineteenth century, Frederic Mistral gives it the name we know him at the moment. Roure meaning oak, in reference to the sculpture of tree branches above the front door
Gate of the Roure Palace
Its sale in 1908 will cause considerable damage. Her salvation will come from Jeanne de Flandreysy who bought it to make it a home of Mediterranean culture. In 1944, the city inherits the Flandreysy-Esperandieu Foundation.
The visit of the museum allows the discovering of an exceptional building as well as furniture and objects of Provence.
Roure Palace door
The Lapidary Museum
Address: 27 rue de la République, Avignon
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 6 pm, closed on January 1, May 1 and December 25
Museum type: ancient objects and sculptures
The College of Jesuits, founded in 1564 built this church in 1620. Baroque style, its facade has two floors separated by an imposing cornice. The museum Calvet will affect the lapidary collections from 1933.
As in other museums, we visit a monument. You can admire Egyptian, Etruscan, Greek, Roman and Gallo-Roman artefacts and sculptures as well as many remains from Avignon’s antiquity.
The Calvet Museum
Address: 27 rue de la République, Avignon
Opening hours: Wednesday to Monday from 10 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 6 pm, closed on January 1, May 1 and December 25
Museum type: paintings, sculptures, antiques
The current building is the result of the eccentricities of Jacques-Ignace de Villeneuve who decided to destroy the existing residence to build a new one in 1741. It took 8 years to finish the work. The city will buy the building in 1833 after renting it for a few years. This acquisition will allow the museum stability over time.
Calvet museum entrance