Barcelonnette

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Barcelonnette

Coordinates: 44°23′12″N 6°39′11″E / 44.3866666667°N 6.65305555556°E / 44.3866666667; 6.65305555556


Barcelonnette (Barcilona de Provença in Occitan) is a commune in the Ubaye Valley, in the southern French Alps, in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department, of which it is a sub-prefecture.

Contents

History

The city's name comes from Ramon Berenguer IV, count of Provence, who founded the city in 1231. The vallée de Barcelonnette, the area around the town, belonged to the Duchy of Savoy in the early modern period. At the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), the vallée de Barcelonnette was traded to France. Thus Barcelonnette has only been a French possession since the 18th century.

Situation

The city and the region around has been the center of a French emigration wave to the Americas (mostly Mexico) in the late 19th and early beginning 20th centuries. Families which had prospered abroad came back and built the huge mansions that one can see all over the town called Maisons Mexicaines. The construction of such mansions took place primarily from 1880 to 1930. Today, a large community of Barcelonettes live in Mexico City, San Luis Potosí and Puebla, Mexico. The most famous of these descendants is the Mexican comedian Eugenio Derbez and the Jazz composer and writer Alain Derbez.

Geography and industry

Barcelonnette is situated in a wide and very fertile valley. It lies at an elevation of 1132 m (3717 ft) on the right bank of the Ubaye River, on which it is the most well-known place.

The city is mainly a tourist and resort centre, serving many ski lodges.

See also

References

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