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Arts and Culture in Avignon - An International Summer Festival and Year-Round Performances

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Despite its medieval heritage, Avignon is far more than simply a sprawling museum. The town has a dynamic cultural scene that reaches its peak every July during the annual theatre festival. Outside the festival season, Avignon offers plays, concerts, art exhibitions, and street performances to keep you entertained.

Festival d’Avignon

 

The brainchild of actor and director Jean Vilar, Avignon's first festival was held in 1947, when it consisted of 3 plays and a contemporary art exhibition. Now it’s an international celebration that integrates technology, supports literature, and gives a platform to the performing arts. If you visit Avignon in July and attend the festivities, you’ll leave with a head full of new ideas.

 

Festival d’Avignon

 

Dancers, filmmakers, actors, musicians, and other creative performers come to Avignon each summer to perform and entertain. The festival takes place in venues all around the city.

 

Cloître Saint-Louis, 20 rue du Portail Boquier, 84000 AvignonTel: +33 4 90 27 66 50

 

Festival d’Avignon website

theatre and comedy

 

theatre buffs may flock to Avignon for the summer festival, but there’s plenty to keep lovers of the performing arts happy all year round. Whether you’re in the mood for classic drama, an operatic masterpiece, or an evening of cabaret and comedy, there’s a venue and an event for you.

 

Opéra Grand Avignon

 

Housed in an ancient building, this grand theatre hosts works from diverse genres. You might see a conductor direct an orchestra one night, then watch Shakespeare’s plots unfold on stage another.

 

1 Rue Racine, 84000 Avignon. Tel: +33 4 90 14 26 00

 

Opéra Grand Avignon website

 

Théâtre des Halles

 

Art and science cohabit in this unassuming, stone-walled venue hidden on a narrow side street. Scientific lectures and debates share the program with dance productions and puppet shows.

 

Rue du Roi René, 84000 Avignon. Tel: +33 4 32 76 24 51

 

Théâtre des Halles website

 

Avignon's best museums

 

Touring Avignon’s museums will give you an insight into the city’s cultural history, from its medieval heyday, through the Renaissance, to the present day. At art museums like Musée Calvet, Musée Angladon, and Musée du Petit Palais, you can enjoy permanent and temporary exhibitions of important paintings and sculptures. More specialized institutions include Musée du Vin and Musée de la Lavande, which exhibit wine and lavender respectively.

 

Musée Calvet

 

This ornate mansion is home to the city’s most important fine art collection. Egyptian and Greek objects are on display, as well as ancient coins and carved ivory, but paintings by the likes of Jacques-Louis David are the main attraction.

 

65 Rue Joseph Vernet, 84000 Avignon. Tel: +33 4 90 86 33 84

 

Musée Calvet website

 

Musée du Petit Palais

 

Housed in a grand medieval palace overlooking Place du Palais des Papes, this museum exhibits paintings by French and Italian artists of the early Renaissance.

 

Place du Palais des Papes, 84000 Avignon. Tel: +33 4 90 86 33 58

 

Musée du Petit Palais website