Aug: 9am-8.30pm; Jul: 9am-8pm; Apr-Jun and early Sep-early Nov: 9am-7pm; Mar: 9am-6.30pm; rest of year: 9.30am-5.45pm
This 15 000m Palais des Papes is made up of the Old Palace and the New Palace. The former, a fortress with austere architecture, was commissioned by Benoît XII in 1334. Artist and prodigy, Clément VI, grand prince of the Church, must have found it rather stern-looking, as in 1342 he commissioned the New Palace (Jean de Louvres). The Tour de la Garde-Robe and two new buildings enclosed the main courtyard (until then open to the public). Although the exterior changed little, the interior was splendidly decorated by a team of artists under first Simone Martini then Matteo Giovannetti.