jesus and mary

Statues of Jesus and Mary at the Palais des Papes in Avignon, southern France.

In order to escape the chaos of Rome, the Popes made their residence in Avignon from 1309-1377. However, in 1378 a schism began in the Catholic Church (Western/Papal Schism 1378-1417) with two men claiming to be the rightful pope; the successive antipopes took residence in Avignon. In 1398, Avignon was besieged and the rival claimant, Benedict XIII, was imprisoned for five years in the Palais.

The Palais is now the historical centre of Avignon and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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