Cities of the World – Avignon,
Matthew Ku 9F
Introduction and history - Avignon
The French city of Avignon is situated on the River Rhone, northwest of Marseille. Its history goes back far, and
is as colourful, deep and fascinating as a van Gogh painting. It is covered mostly with parks and gardens, and is
not fully populated.
Sitting at the crossroads of Big trade and migratory routes between northern and southern Europe, It has
played a massive role in shaping the history of France, and its surrounding countries.
Starting as a hill fort founded by the Gallic tribes, before Ancient Roman Times, it was a trading post. Not much
is known about this time period, as all that remain are few fragments of the forum. It soon became a
flourishing Roman town. Not much is known about this period as well. After prospering for many hundreds of
years, after the fall of the Roman Empire, it suffered greatly from Barbarian Invasions. This was around the 5th
Century, at the rise of the Goths. After barely recovering, the town was once again destroyed. This time, it was
the Franks, and this happened in the 7th century, because the town sided with the Arabs against him. In 1033,
Avignon was once again handed over to the Hoy Roman Empire. After this, in the 12th Century, Avignon
declared itself a free republic, only to be crushed again 27 years later during a battle called the Crusade against
the Albigneses. After this, when King Louis VII of France came to visit, the citizens refused to open the gates to
the city and entered a 3 month siege.
Introduction and history - Avignon
In 1791, Avignon became a Papal possession, or a town that belonged to the popes.
Lastly, in 1348, the Black Death visited the town, killing nearly 2/3s of the population.
Entering the 19th century and becoming les and less prominent, it made its comeback as a once again
flourishing cultural capital in the 20th Century, bursting with its rich history and international prestige.
The French Commune has a Mediterranean Climate, with fairly dry summers, and cool, damp winters.
Founded in 1947, the famous theatre festival, the Avignon Festival attracts more than 100,000 people each
year. There are 2 events that take place: the more formal Festival In, held in the palace of the popes, and the
less formal Festival Off, which consist of largely undiscovered Street Performances.
There is more than 110KM of bike trails, and there is also a TGV High Speed train station connecting Avignon to
other major French Cities.
Introduction and history - Melbourne
The colourful city of Melbourne is situated in the Australian state of Victoria, and is the second most populous
state of Victoria. It often considered to be the cultural hub of Australia and is home to the National Gallery of
Victoria, the Immigration Museum, Queen Victoria Market, and many more famous attractions. It is
sophisticated and slick, and ever so hungry for a bite of the global culture.
Its deep history encompasses the gold rushes, its discovery by captain Cook, National Sorry Day and its history
as part of the commonwealth.
This familiar story starts all the way back in Britain. Jails are bursting full of convicts, and the quickest, easiest
solution was to ship them all the way to Australia to get rid of them. From that historic day when the first fleet
landed, Melbourne has been constantly growing and expanding – to be seen as one of the most easily
accessible hubs of multiculturalism in the entire Australian history of this controversial topic.
From the steaming bowls of Pho in Springvale, a pizza on Lygon St., or even a laid back breakfast somewhere on
Little Bourke to the bustling night life, various markets , casinos and hotels, Melbourne, its people, and its
history just never truly cease to amaze.
Melbourne, Australia
Avignon, France
4, 100, 100 approx.
Around 95, 000
Population Density
1566 per KM2
1463 per KM2
Size (KM2)
8806 KM2 approx.
65 KM2 approx.
Geographic Coordinates
37°48′49″S 144°57′47″E
43°57′N 4°50′E
63 m above sea level
20 m above sea level
GDP of Country
US $ 1.6 trillion
US $ 2.8 trillion
GDP per capita
US $ 69, 007
US $ 43, 820
Language(s) spoken
Mainly English
French, English
Significant landmarks
Eureka Skydeck, Yarra River, Papal Palace, Rocher Des
Botanical Gardens, NGV,
Doms (gardens), Lle De La
MCG, Aquarium . . .
Barthelasse . . .
Statistics - continued
Significant landmarks
Melbourne, Australia
Avignon, France
Eureka Skydeck, Yarra
River, Botanical Gardens,
NGV, MCG, Aquarium,
Immigration centre,
Dandenong Ranges, St.
Paul’s Cathedral,
Docklands, Harbourtown,
DFO, Murray River, St.
Kilda Beach, Shrine of
Remembrance, Melbourne
Zoo, City Circle Tram,
Melbourne Museum and
many more.
Papal Palace, Rocher Des
Doms (gardens), Lle De La
Barthelasse, Place de
l’Horloge, Pont Saint
Benezet, Foundation
Musee du Petit Palais,
Musee Calvet, Temple
Saint Marshall and many
Where would I rather live?
After comparing the two cities, Melbourne and my chosen city of Avignon, I would rather live in Melbourne.
Here is my explanation:
Avignon has some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen. Its Mediterranean climate makes it an
extremely pleasant place to live, and it is suitable for people of all ages. It has a relatively low population, and
would probably have some of the most traditional and authentic French food and drink on offer. Housing would
be relatively cheap, as not all of the city is populated yet, and population is low, hence demand for housing
should also be low.
It should also be relatively easy to start a family there, as I expect cost of living is low, and the culture is rich.
There is also the advantage of being multilingual, i.e. speaking multiple languages. It is a gateway to many more
opportunities in Europe, being in close proximity to Italy and the U.K.. The French population and culture
makes it an extremely accepting nation, which makes it open to newcomers and change.
Health problems affected by the weather such as hay fever and asthma should not be a problem thanks to the
mild weather; and it would be an excellent place to holiday to.
Population density between Avignon and Melbourne is roughly the same surprisingly, although the difference
in population itself is massive, hence Melbourne’s colossal urban sprawl. Size between the two cities is quite
large, but this is expected, as it comes with Melbourne’s large population. Melbourne’s Altitude compared to
Avignon’s is surprisingly quite higher, being 40m higher above sea level, even though Melbourne is on the
coast. The GDP of France is almost twice as much as Australia’s, but that is also expected as France is a far older
and developed country.
BUT, even after taking all of these factors into account, I would still rather live in Melbourne. ->
Where would I rather live?
Even though Melbourne’s weather is notorious for having ‘four seasons in a day’, and it is essentially an
industrial powerhouse, I would still rather live here. A part of the British Commonwealth, and having
one of the most significant histories in the world, makes Melbourne one of the most advantageous
cities to live in.
There are far more opportunities located locally, and therefore far easier to accomplish things and keep
up in the fast growing material world. Business and real world opportunities and connections would be
far easier made in a city with a booming economy. The language barrier also would not be a problem
here in Melbourne.
Although the cost of living is one of the highest in the world, I think it is still one of the easiest to live in.
It was rated the world’s most liveable city, and I believe that inner Melbourne strikes exactly the right
balance between the fast-moving, busy city life and a friendly environment easy to live in. Starting a
family may be a challenge, as a rapidly increasing population will prompt a massive boom in housing
demand, which started already.
Although the local culture in Avignon is rich, Melbourne’s even richer culture, class and aestheticism
definitely appeals to me more. History has gifted the city of Melbourne with one of the widest ranges of
cuisines and cultures. Its cosmopolitan air and unique idiosyncrasy make Melbourne, to me at least, one
of the most desirable cities to live in the world.
Temple Saint Martial (Avignon)
Papal Palace (Pope’s Palace in Avignon)
Rocher Des Doms Gardens
Ile de la Barthelasse – gardens and bridge
Pont Saint Benezet - bridge
Royal Botanical Gardens (Melbourne)
Yarra River
State Library
Internet references
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Text references
Jacaranda Atlas 6th Edition.

Cities of the world – Avignon (informative)