In the period 1309 to 1376 seven successive popes resided in Avignon (then in the Kingdom of Arles, part of the Holy Roman Empire, now in France) rather than in Rome. The situation arose from the conflict between the papacy and the French crown. The French Pope, Clement V, in 1305 refused to move to Rome, and in 1309 he moved his court to the papal enclave at Avignon, where it remained for the next 67 years.
Jaques Fournier the bishop of Pamiers became Pope Benedict II and was personally responsible for the first Phase of construction of the Palais des Papes.
A total of seven popes reigned at Avignon, all French, and all under the influence of the French Crown. In 1376, Gregory XI abandoned Avignon and moved his court to Rome (arriving on January 17, 1377).