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Cities of the World – Avignon, France. Matthew Ku 9F. Introduction and history - Avignon.

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introduction and history avignon
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 avignon1
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
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.

where would i rather live
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. ->

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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.


Internet references

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Text references

  • Jacaranda Atlas 6th Edition.