During the years 1309 to 1376 seven of the popes ruled the Catholic Church from Avignon. During this period, all seven of the popes resided in this palace.|
There had been a conflict between Boniface VIII and Phillip IV of France. When Clement V , a Frenchman, after a very difficult election became pope he refused to move to Rome and instead moved his court to Avignon. It remained there for 67 years. This period is sometimes referred to as the "Babylonian Captivity of the papacy."
All seven popes during this period were French and under the influence of the French ruler. It wasn't until 1376, under Gregory XI that the papacy returned to Rome. But, the troubles for the Church were not yet over. Internal fighting led to the re-establishement of a papal court in Avignon. There now existed a pope and an anti-pope. This Western Schism ended in 1417 as the result of the Council of Constance.
Photo by JM Rosier 2