“Random encounters with the unusual” is a repository for the oddities that me and Mrs J have encountered on our travels, which we find interesting or amusing in some way. Have a look, maybe you will find something interesting or amusing herein.

Friday, 22 March 2013

The home of the Antipope

The recent election of the new Pope reminded me of my visit to the home of an Antipope, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Palais des Papes in Avignon, southern France. The palace served as the papal residence and the seat of Western Christianity during the 14th century, and during this time the palace witnessed the elections of Popes Benedict XII (1334), Clement VI (1342), Innocent VI (1352), Urban V (1362) and Gregory XI (1370).

The Palais des Papes only served as the legitimate seat of the papacy for a relatively short period, and in 1370 the papal seat was relocated to the tomb of St. Peter (Vatican City). Although this relocation occurred in 1370, the Palais des Papes still served as the home to a few more Popes (in this case Antipopes), they were notably the Antipopes Clement VII (1378–1394), Benedict XIII (1394–1423) and Clement VIII (1423–1429).

If you are wondering what an Antipope is, it is another claimant to the papacy, in opposition to the legitimately elected Pope of the time, who have typically had significant support from various cardinals, secular kings and kingdoms. What is not clear however, is if an Antipope coming in to contact with a Pope would result in some form of explosive annihilation!

If the subject of "Papal Prophecies" takes your fancy pope over to Andrew May's Forteana Blog.

The  Palais des Papes. 
The rock on which part of the palace is built.
Palace courtyard.
Tombs of past Popes.
Decorative floor tiles on display.
Antipope  Benedict XIII.  
Pictures, France (October 2012).

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