Vaucluse

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The Vaucluse (French pronunciation: [voklyz]; Occitan: Vauclusa in classical norm or Vau-Cluso in Mistralian norm) is a department in the southeast of France, named after the famous spring, the Fontaine-de-Vaucluse.

Contents

History

Vaucluse was created on 8 December 1793 out of parts of the departments of Bouches-du-Rhône, Drôme, and Basses-Alpes (later renamed Alpes-de-Haute-Provence). The then rural department was, like the nearby city of Lyon, a hotbed of the French Resistance in World War II and a short lived anti-Fascist state called the Vaucluse Republic occurred during the final years of the war.

Geography

Vaucluse is bordered by the Rhône to the west and the River Durance to the south. Mountains occupy a significant proportion of the eastern half of the department, with Mont Ventoux (1,912 m), also known as "the Giant of Provence", dominating the landscape. Other important mountain ranges include the Dentelles de Montmirail, the Monts de Vaucluse, and the Luberon. Fruit and vegetables are cultivated in great quantities in the lower-lying parts of the department, on one of the most fertile plains in southern France. The Vaucluse département has a rather large exclave within the Drôme department, the canton of Valréas (Enclave des Papes).

Important urban centres include Avignon, Orange, Carpentras, Cavaillon, and Apt.

Demographics

  • Urban population: 416,301 (83%)
  • Rural population: 83,384 (17%)

See also

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