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Bouches-du-Rhône (Occitan: Bocas de Ròse, lit. "Mouths of the Rhône") is a department in the south of France named after the mouth of the Rhône River.



History of the department

Bouches-du-Rhône is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from the western part of the former province of Provence and the principalities of Orange, Martigues, and Lambesc. It lost part of its territory in 1793, including Orange and Apt, when the Vaucluse department was created.

Following its creation, the department was immediately strongly and actively supportive of the French Revolution, containing 90 "Jacobin Clubs" by 1794[1]. It was also noteworthy that more than 50% of the priests in the department accepted the Civil Constitution of the Clergy which in effect subordinated the church to the government[2]. During the ascendancy of the Communist Party in the twentieth century election results indicated that support for left wing politics remained relatively strong in the department, and especially in the northern suburbs of Marseilles.

History of the area

The history of the area is closely linked to that of Provence. Marseille has been an important harbor since before Julius Caesar's conquest of Gaul. The Roman presence has left numerous monuments across the department.


The department is part of the current region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. It is surrounded by the departments of Gard on the west, Vaucluse on the north, and Var on the east, and by the Mediterranean Sea on the south.

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