I am not so sure of the background but for a long time in the medieval age there was several popes that was established in a fantastic big castle in Avignon in South of France. They also used a bridge builded already in Roman times crossing the huge river Rhone making a kind of border between the old Roman empire and the country of France.
Those popes was known for not always being faithful to the Christian script - also being corrupt and liking to live the good life in South of France - and was eventually moved back to their Vatican State in Rome.
Here 3 of the happy guys ruling in the medieval Avignon.
..and of course they had special build chairs for recivieng dignatries coming in from the world at that time.
The world of old Avignon as seen through a stained glass in the old Pope Palace
Recommended - search more info at WIKI - for a really strange story.