Avignon is a commune in the Vaucluse department in southeastern France. The city is well known for its Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes), where several popes and antipopes lived from the early 14th to early 15th centuries. It is situated on the left bank of the Rhône, a few kilometres above its confluence with the Durance, about 580 km (360.4 mi) south-east of Paris, 229 km (142.3 mi) south of Lyon and 85 km (52.8 mi) north-north-west of Marseille. Avignon occupies a large oval-shaped area, not fully populated and covered in great part by parks and gardens. The historic centre, which includes the Palais des Papes, the cathedral, and the Pont d'Avignon, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. The medieval monuments and the annual Festival d'Avignon have helped to make the town a major centre for tourism.
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