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Provence
Provence
(/prəˈvɒns/; French pronunciation: ​[pʁɔ.vɑ̃s]; Provençal: Provença in classical norm or Prouvènço in Mistralian norm, pronounced [pʀuˈvɛⁿsɔ]) is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône
Rhône
River to the west to the Italian border to the east, and is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
to the south.[1] It largely corresponds with the modern administrative région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, and includes the départements of Var, Bouches-du-Rhône, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
and parts of Alpes-Maritimes
Alpes-Maritimes
and Vaucluse.[2] The largest city of the region is Marseille. The Romans made the region into the first Roman province beyond the Alps
Alps
and called it Provincia Romana, which evolved into the present name. It was ruled by the Counts of Provence
Counts of Provence
from their capital in Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence
until 1481, when it became a province of the Kings of France.[2] While it has been part of France
France
for more than five hundred years, it still retains a distinct cultural and linguistic identity, particularly in the interior of the region.[3]

Contents

1 Gallery of Provence 2 History

2.1 Prehistoric Provence 2.2 Ligures
Ligures
and Celts
Celts
in Provence 2.3 Greeks in Provence 2.4 Roman Provence
Provence
(2nd century BC to 5th century AD) 2.5 Arrival of Christianity (3rd–6th centuries) 2.6 Germanic invasions, Merovingians and Carolingians (5th–9th centuries) 2.7 The Counts of Provence
Counts of Provence
(9th–13th centuries) 2.8 The Popes in Avignon
Avignon
(14th century) 2.9 Good King René, the last ruler of Provence 2.10 1486 to 1789 2.11 During the French Revolution 2.12 Under Napoleon 2.13 19th century 2.14 20th century

3 Extent and geography

3.1 Borders 3.2 Rivers 3.3 The Camargue 3.4 Mountains 3.5 The Calanques 3.6 Landscapes

4 Climate

4.1 Bouches-du-Rhône 4.2 The Var 4.3 Alpes-Maritimes 4.4 Alpes-de-Haute-Provence 4.5 The Vaucluse

5 Language and literature

5.1 Scientists, scholars and prophets 5.2 Occitan
Occitan
literature 5.3 Writers and poets in the Occitan
Occitan
language 5.4 French authors 5.5 Emigrés, exiles, and expatriates

6 Music 7 Painters 8 Film 9 Parks and gardens in Provence 10 Cuisine 11 Wines 12 Pastis 13 Pétanque
Pétanque
or boules 14 Genetics 15 See also 16 Sources and references 17 Bibliography 18 External links

Gallery of Provence[edit]

Mont Ventoux
Mont Ventoux
and a field of lavender

The old port of Marseille.

Place Republique in Arles

Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, in Upper Provence

Provençal country road lined with plane trees

Flamingos in the Camargue

Sisteron

Pont Saint-Bénézet
Pont Saint-Bénézet
at sunset

Croix de Provence
Provence
on Mount Sainte-Victoire

History[edit] Main article: History of Provence See also: Lower Burgundy Prehistoric Provence[edit]

The entrance to the Cosquer Cave, decorated with paintings of auks, bison, seals and outlines of hands dating to 27,000 to 19,000 BC, is located 37 meters under the surface of the Calanque de Morgiou
Calanque de Morgiou
near Cassis.

A bronze-age dolmen (2500 to 900 BC) near Draguignan

The coast of Provence
Provence
has some of the earliest known sites of human habitation in Europe. Primitive stone tools dated to 1 to 1.05 million years BC were found in the Grotte du Vallonnet
Grotte du Vallonnet
near Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, between Monaco
Monaco
and Menton.[4] More sophisticated tools, worked on both sides of the stone and dating to 600,000 BC, were found in the Cave of Escale at Saint Estėve-Janson, and tools from 400,000 BC and some of the first fireplaces in Europe were found at Terra Amata in Nice.[5] Tools dating to the Middle Paleolithic
Paleolithic
(300,000 BC) and Upper Paleolithic
Upper Paleolithic
(30,000–10,000 BC) were discovered in the Observatory Cave, in the Jardin Exotique of Monaco.[6] The Paleolithic
Paleolithic
period in Provence
Provence
saw great changes in the climate, with the arrival and departure of two ice ages, and dramatic changes in the sea level. At the beginning of the Paleolithic
Paleolithic
period, the sea level in western Provence
Provence
was 150 meters higher than it is today. By the end of the Paleolithic, it had dropped 100 to 150 metres lower than today's sea level. The cave dwellings of the early inhabitants of Provence
Provence
were regularly inundated by the rising sea or left far from the sea and swept away by erosion.[7] The changes in the sea level led to one of the most remarkable discoveries of signs of early man in Provence. In 1985, a diver named Henri Cosquer discovered the mouth of a submarine cave 37 metres below the surface of the Calanque de Morgiou
Calanque de Morgiou
near Marseille. The entrance led to a cave above sea level. Inside, the walls of the Cosquer Cave are decorated with drawings of bison, seals, auks, horses and outlines of human hands, dating to between 27,000 and 19,000 BC.[8] The end of the Paleolithic
Paleolithic
and beginning of the Neolithic
Neolithic
period saw the sea settle at its present level, a warming of the climate and the retreat of the forests. The disappearance of the forests and the deer and other easily hunted game meant that the inhabitants of Provence had to survive on rabbits, snails and wild sheep. In about 6000 BC, the Castelnovian people, living around Châteauneuf-les-Martigues, were among the first people in Europe to domesticate wild sheep, and to cease moving constantly from place to place. Since they were settled in one place they were able to develop new industries. Inspired by the imported pottery from the eastern Mediterranean, in about 6000 BC they created the first pottery to be made in France.[7] Around 6000 BC, a wave of new settlers from the east, the Chasseens, arrived in Provence. They were farmers and warriors, and gradually displaced the earlier pastoral people from their lands. They were followed in about 2500 BC by another wave of people, also farmers, known as the Courronniens, who arrived by sea and settled along the coast of what is now the Bouches-du- Rhône
Rhône
department.[7] Traces of these early civilisations can be found in many parts of Provence. A Neolithic
Neolithic
site dating to about 6,000 BC was discovered in Marseille near the Saint-Charles railway station. and a dolmen from the Bronze Age (2500–900 BC) can be found near Draguignan. Ligures
Ligures
and Celts
Celts
in Provence[edit] Between the 10th and 4th century BC, the Ligures
Ligures
were found in Provence
Provence
from Massilia as far as modern day Liguria. They were of uncertain origin; they may have been the descendants of the indigenous neolithic peoples.[9] Strabo distinctly states they were not of Celtic origin and a different race from the Gauls.[10] They did not have their own alphabet, but their language remains in place names in Provence
Provence
ending in the suffixes -asc, -osc. -inc, -ates, and -auni.[9] The ancient geographer Posidonios wrote of them: "Their country is savage and dry. The soil is so rocky that you cannot plant anything without striking stones. The men compensate for the lack of wheat by hunting... They climb the mountains like goats."[11] They were also warlike; they invaded Italy and went as far as Rome in the 4th century BC, and they later aided the passage of Hannibal, on his way to attack Rome (218 BC). Traces of the Ligures
Ligures
remain today in the dolmens and other megaliths found in eastern Provence, in the primitive stone shelters called 'Bories' found in the Luberon
Luberon
and Comtat, and in the rock carvings in the Valley of Marvels near Mont Bégo
Mont Bégo
in the Alpes-Maritimes, at an altitude of 2,000 meters.[12] Between the 8th and 5th centuries BC, tribes of Celtic peoples, probably coming from Central Europe, also began moving into Provence. They had weapons made of iron, which allowed them to easily defeat the local tribes, who were still armed with bronze weapons. One tribe, called the Segobriga, settled near modern-day Marseille. The Caturiges, Tricastins, and Cavares settled to the west of the Durance river.[13] Celts
Celts
and Ligurians spread throughout the area and the Celto-Ligures eventually shared the territory of Provence, each tribe in its own alpine valley or settlement along a river, each with its own king and dynasty. They built hilltop forts and settlements, later given the Latin name oppida. Today the traces 165 oppida are found in the Var, and as many as 285 in the Alpes-Maritimes.[12] They worshipped various aspects of nature, establishing sacred woods at Sainte-Baume and Gemenos, and healing springs at Glanum
Glanum
and Vernègues. Later, in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, the different tribes formed confederations; the Voconces in the area from the Isère
Isère
to the Vaucluse; the Cavares in the Comtat; and the Salyens, from the Rhône
Rhône
river to the Var. The tribes began to trade their local products, iron, silver, alabaster, marble, gold, resin, wax, honey and cheese; with their neighbours, first by trading routes along the Rhône
Rhône
river, and later Etruscan traders visited the coast. Etruscan amphorae from the 7th and 6th centuries BC have been found in Marseille, Cassis, and in hilltop oppida in the region.[12] Greeks in Provence[edit]

Remains of the ancient harbour of Massalia, near the Old Port of Marseille

Traders from the island of Rhodes were visiting the coast of Provence in the 7th century BC. Rhodes pottery from that century has been found in Marseille, near Martigues
Martigues
and Istres, and at Mont Garou and Evenos near Toulon. The traders from Rhodes gave their names to the ancient town of Rhodanousia (now Trinquetaille, across the Rhône
Rhône
river from Arles), and to the main river of Provence, the Rhodanos, today known as the Rhône.[14] The first permanent Greek settlement was Massalia, established at modern-day Marseille
Marseille
in about 600 BC by colonists coming from Phocaea (now Foça, on the Aegean coast of Asia Minor). A second wave of colonists arrived in about 540 BC, when Phocaea
Phocaea
was destroyed by the Persians.[15] Massalia became one of the major trading ports of the ancient world. At its height, in the 4th century BC, it had a population of about 6,000 inhabitants, living on about fifty hectares surrounded by a wall. It was governed as an aristocratic republic, by an assembly of the 600 wealthiest citizens. It had a large temple of the cult of Apollo
Apollo
of Delphi on a hilltop overlooking the port, and a temple of the cult of Artemis
Artemis
of Ephesus at the other end of the city. The Drachma coins minted in Massalia were found in all parts of Ligurian-Celtic Gaul. Traders from Massalia ventured inland deep into France
France
on the Rivers Durance
Durance
and Rhône, and established overland trade routes deep into Gaul, and to Switzerland and Burgundy, and as far north as the Baltic Sea. They exported their own products; local wine, salted pork and fish, aromatic and medicinal plants, coral and cork.[15] The Massalians also established a series of small colonies and trading posts along the coast; which later became towns; they founded Citharista (La Ciotat); Tauroeis (Le Brusc); Olbia (near Hyères); Pergantion (Breganson); Caccabaria (Cavalaire); Athenopolis (Saint-Tropez); Antipolis (Antibes); Nikaia (Nice), and Monoicos (Monaco). They established inland towns at Glanum
Glanum
(Saint-Remy) and Mastrabala (Saint-Blaise.) The most famous citizen of Massalia was the mathematician, astronomer and navigator Pytheas. Pytheas
Pytheas
made mathematical instruments which allowed him to establish almost exactly the latitude of Marseille, and he was the first scientist to observe that the tides were connected with the phases of the moon. Between 330 and 320 BC he organised an expedition by ship into the Atlantic and as far north as England, and to visit Iceland, Shetland, and Norway. He was the first scientist to describe drift ice and the midnight sun. Though he hoped to establish a sea trading route for tin from Cornwall, his trip was not a commercial success, and it was not repeated. The Massalians found it cheaper and simpler to trade with Northern Europe over land routes.[16] Roman Provence
Provence
(2nd century BC to 5th century AD)[edit]

Triumphal Arch of Orange, first century AD

The Roman arena at Arles
Arles
(2nd century AD)

The baptistery of Fréjus Cathedral
Fréjus Cathedral
(5th century) is still in use

In the 2nd century BC the people of Massalia appealed to Rome for help against the Ligures. Roman legions entered Provence
Provence
three times; first in 181 BC the Romans suppressed Ligurian uprisings near Genoa; in 154 BC the Roman Consul Optimus defeated the Oxybii and the Deciates, who were attacking Antibes; and in 125 BC, the Romans put down an uprising of a confederation of Celtic tribes.[17] After this battle, the Romans decided to establish permanent settlements in Provence. In 122 BC, next to the Celtic town of Entremont, the Romans built a new town, Aquae Sextiae, later called Aix-en-Provence. In 118 BC they founded Narbo (Narbonne). The Roman general Gaius Marius
Gaius Marius
crushed the last serious resistance in 102 BC by defeating the Cimbri
Cimbri
and the Teutons. He then began building roads to facilitate troop movements and commerce between Rome, Spain and Northern Europe; one from the coast inland to Apt and Tarascon, and the other along the coast from Italy to Spain, passing through Fréjus
Fréjus
and Aix-en-Provence. In 49 BC, Massalia had the misfortune to choose the wrong side in the power struggle between Pompey
Pompey
and Julius Caesar. Pompey
Pompey
was defeated, and Massalia lost its territories and political influence. Roman veterans, in the meantime, populated two new towns, Arles
Arles
and Fréjus, at the sites of older Greek settlements. In 8 BC the Emperor Augustus
Augustus
built a triumphal monument at La Turbie to commemorate the pacification of the region, and he began to Romanize Provence
Provence
politically and culturally. Roman engineers and architects built monuments, theatres, baths, villas, fora, arenas and aqueducts, many of which still exist. (See Architecture of Provence.) Roman towns were built at Cavaillon; Orange; Arles; Fréjus; Glanum (outside Saint-Rémy-de-Provence); Carpentras; Vaison-la-Romaine; Nîmes; Vernègues; Saint-Chamas
Saint-Chamas
and Cimiez
Cimiez
(above Nice). The Roman province, which was called Gallia Narbonensis, for its capital, Narbo (modern Narbonne), extended from Italy to Spain, from the Alps
Alps
to the Pyrenees. The Pax Romana
Pax Romana
in Provence
Provence
lasted until the middle of the 3rd century. Germanic tribes invaded Provence
Provence
in 257 and 275. At the beginning the 4th century, the court of Roman Emperor Constantine (280–337) was forced to take refuge in Arles. By the end of the 5th century, Roman power in Provence
Provence
had vanished, and an age of invasions, wars, and chaos began. Arrival of Christianity (3rd–6th centuries)[edit] There are many legends about the earliest Christians in Provence, but they are difficult to verify. It is documented that there were organised churches and bishops in the Roman towns of Provence
Provence
as early as the 3rd and 4th centuries; in Arles
Arles
in 254; Marseille
Marseille
in 314; Orange, Vaison
Vaison
and Apt in 314; Cavaillon, Digne, Embrun, Gap, and Fréjus
Fréjus
at the end of the 4th century; Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence
in 408; Carpentras, Avignon, Riez, Cimiez
Cimiez
(today part of Nice) and Vence
Vence
in 439; Antibes
Antibes
in 442; Toulon
Toulon
in 451; Senez
Senez
in 406, Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux
Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux
in 517; and Glandèves
Glandèves
in 541.[18] The oldest Christian structure still surviving in Provence
Provence
is the baptistery of the cathedral in Fréjus, dating from the 5th century. At about the same time, in the 5th century, the first two monasteries in Provence
Provence
were founded; Lérins, on an island near Cannes; and Saint-Victor in Marseille. Germanic invasions, Merovingians and Carolingians (5th–9th centuries)[edit]

King Boson and San Stephen (fragment of fresco at Charlieu Abbey)

Beginning in the second half of the 5th century, as Roman power waned, successive waves of Germanic tribes entered Provence; first the Visigoths
Visigoths
(480); then the Ostrogoths; then the Burgundians; finally, the Franks
Franks
in the 6th century. Arab
Arab
invaders and Berber pirates came from North Africa to the Coast of Provence
Provence
in the beginning of the 7th century. During the late 7th and early 8th century, Provence
Provence
was formally subject to the Frankish kings of the Merovingian dynasty, but it was in fact ruled by its own regional nobility of Gallo-Roman
Gallo-Roman
stock, who ruled themselves according to Roman, not Frankish law. Actually, the region enjoyed a prestige that the northern Franks
Franks
hadn't, but the local aristocracy feared Charles Martel's expansionist ambitions.[19] In 737 Charles Martel
Charles Martel
headed down the Rhône
Rhône
Valley after subduing Burgundy. Charles attacked Avignon
Avignon
and Arles, garrisoned by the Umayyads. He came back in 739 to capture for a second time Avignon
Avignon
and chase the duke Maurontus to his stronghold of Marseille.[19] The city was brought to heel and the duke had to flee to an island. The region was thereafter under the rule of Carolingian
Carolingian
Kings, descended from Charles Martel; and then was part of the empire of Charlemagne (742–814). In 879, after the death of the Carolingian
Carolingian
ruler Charles the Bald, Boso of Provence, (also known as Boson), his brother-in-law, broke away from the Carolingian
Carolingian
kingdom of Louis III and was elected the first ruler of an independent state of Provence. The Counts of Provence
Counts of Provence
(9th–13th centuries)[edit]

The Catalan Ramon Berenguer I, Count of Provence, in the Castle in Fos, painted by Marià Fortuny
Marià Fortuny
(Reial Acadèmia Catalana de Belles Arts de Sant Jordi, on deposit at the Palace of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Barcelona).

The Coat of Arms of Ramon Berenguer III, Count of Barcelona
Ramon Berenguer III, Count of Barcelona
and his descendants, who as Counts of Provence
Counts of Provence
ruled Provence
Provence
from 1112 until 1246

Coat of Arms of the Counts of Provence
Counts of Provence
of the House of Valois-Anjou, who ruled Provence
Provence
from 1246 until it became part of France
France
in 1486

Three different dynasties of Counts ruled Provence
Provence
during the Middle Ages, and Provence
Provence
became a prize in the complex rivalries between the Catalan rulers of Barcelona, the Kings of Burgundy, the German rulers of the Holy Roman Empire, and the Angevin Kings of France.[clarification needed] The Bosonids (879–1112) were the descendants of the first King of Provence, Boson. His son, Louis the Blind
Louis the Blind
(890–928) lost his sight trying to win the throne of Italy, after which his cousin, Hugh of Italy (died 947) became the Duke of Provence
Provence
and the Count of Vienne. Hugh moved the capital of Provence
Provence
from Vienne to Arles
Arles
and made Provence
Provence
a fief of Rudolph II of Burgundy. In the 9th century, Arab
Arab
pirates (called Saracens
Saracens
by the French) and then the Normans
Normans
invaded Provence. The Normans
Normans
pillaged the region and then left, but the Saracens
Saracens
built castles and began raiding towns and holding local residents for ransom. Early in 973, the Saracens captured Maieul, the Abbot
Abbot
of the Monastery at Cluny, and held him for ransom. The ransom was paid and the abbot was released, but the people of Provence, led by Count William I rose up and defeated the Saracens near their most powerful fortress Fraxinet
Fraxinet
(La Garde-Freinet) at the Battle of Tourtour. The Saracens
Saracens
who were not killed at the battle were baptised and made into slaves, and the remaining Saracens
Saracens
in Provence
Provence
fled the region. Meanwhile, the dynastic quarrels continued. A war between Rudolph III of Burgundy
Burgundy
and his rival, the German Emperor Conrad the Salic
Conrad the Salic
in 1032 led to Provence
Provence
becoming a fiefdom of the Holy Roman Empire, which it remained until 1246. In 1112, the last descendant of Boson, Douce I, Countess of Provence, married the Catalan Ramon Berenguer III, Count of Barcelona, who as a result became Raymond Berenguer I, Count of Provence. He ruled Provence
Provence
from 1112 until 1131, and his descendants, the Catalan counts ruled in Provence
Provence
until 1246. In 1125, Provence
Provence
was divided; the part of Provence
Provence
north and west of the Durance
Durance
river went to the Count of Toulouse, while the lands between the Durance
Durance
and the Mediterranean, and from the Rhône
Rhône
river to the Alps, belonged to the Counts of Provence. The capital of Provence
Provence
was moved from Arles
Arles
to Aix-en-Provence, and later to Brignoles.[20]

The Church of Saint Trophime in Arles
Arles
(12th century)

Under the Catalan counts, the 12th century saw the construction of important cathedrals and abbeys in Provence, in a harmonious new style, the romanesque, which united the Gallo-Roman
Gallo-Roman
style of the Rhône
Rhône
Valley with the Lombard style of the Alps. Aix Cathedral
Aix Cathedral
was built on the site of the old Roman forum, and then rebuilt in the gothic style in the 13th and 14th centuries. The Church of St. Trophime in Arles
Arles
was a landmark of Romanesque architecture, built between the 12th and the 15th centuries. A vast fortress-like monastery, Montmajour Abbey, was built on an island just north of Arles, and became a major destination for medieval pilgrims. In the 12th century three Cistercian
Cistercian
monasteries were built in remote parts of Provence, far from the political intrigues of the cities. Sénanque Abbey
Sénanque Abbey
was the first, established in the Luberon
Luberon
1148 and 1178. Le Thoronet Abbey
Le Thoronet Abbey
was founded in a remote valley near Draguignan in 1160. Silvacane Abbey, on the Durance
Durance
river at La Roque-d'Anthéron, was founded in 1175. In the 13th century, the French kings started to use marriage to extend their influence into the south of France. One son of King Louis VIII of France
France
"the Lion", Alphonse, Count of Poitou, married the heiress of the Count of Toulouse, Joan. Another, Louis IX
Louis IX
"the Saint" of France
France
or Saint Louis (1214–1270), married Marguerite of Provence. Then, in 1246, Charles, Count of Anjou, the youngest son of Louis VIII, married the heiress of Provence, Beatrice. Provence's fortunes became tied to the Angevin Dynasty and the Kingdom of Naples.[21] The Popes in Avignon
Avignon
(14th century)[edit] Main article: Avignon
Avignon
papacy

The façade of the Palais des Papes.

In 1309, Pope Clement V, who was originally from Bordeaux, moved the Roman Catholic Papacy
Papacy
to Avignon.[22] From 1309 until 1377, seven Popes reigned in Avignon
Avignon
before the Schism between the Roman and Avignon
Avignon
churches, which led to the creation of rival popes in both places. After that three Antipopes
Antipopes
reigned in Avignon
Avignon
until 1423, when the Papacy
Papacy
finally returned to Rome. Between 1334 and 1363 the old and new Papal Palaces of Avignon
Avignon
were built by Popes Benedict XII
Benedict XII
and Clement VI
Clement VI
respectively; together the Palais des Papes
Palais des Papes
was the largest gothic palace in Europe.[23] The 14th century was a terrible time in Provence, and all of Europe: the population of Provence
Provence
had been about 400,000 people; the Black Plague (1348–1350) killed fifteen thousand people in Arles, half the population of the city, and greatly reduced the population of the whole region. The defeat of the French Army during the Hundred Years' War forced the cities of Provence
Provence
to build walls and towers to defend themselves against armies of former soldiers who ravaged the countryside. The Angevin rulers of Provence
Provence
also had a difficult time. An assembly of nobles, religious leaders, and town leaders of Provence
Provence
was organised to resist the authority of Queen Joan I of Naples (1343–1382). She was murdered in 1382 by her cousin and heir, Charles of Durazzo, who started a new war, leading to the separation of Nice, Puget-Théniers
Puget-Théniers
and Barcelonnette
Barcelonnette
from Provence
Provence
in 1388, and their attachment to the County of Savoy. From 1388 up to 1526, the area acquired by the Savoy
Savoy
was known as Terres Neuves de Provence; after 1526 it officially took on the name County of Nice. Good King René, the last ruler of Provence[edit]

Detail of the Burning Bush triptych by Nicolas Froment, showing René and his wife Jeanne de Laval

The Chateau of René in Tarascon
Tarascon
(15th century)

The 15th century saw a series of wars between the Kings of Aragon and the Counts of Provence. In 1423 the army of Alphonse of Aragon captured Marseille, and in 1443 they captured Naples, and forced its ruler, King René I of Naples, to flee. He eventually settled in one of his remaining territories, Provence. History and legend has given René the title "Good King René of Provence", though he only lived in Provence
Provence
in the last ten years of his life, from 1470 to 1480, and his political policies of territorial expansion were costly and unsuccessful. Provence
Provence
benefitted from population growth and economic expansion, and René was a generous patron of the arts, sponsoring painters Nicolas Froment, Louis Bréa, and other masters. He also completed one of the finest castles in Provence
Provence
at Tarascon, on the Rhône
Rhône
river. When René died in 1480, his title passed to his nephew Charles du Maine. One year later, in 1481, when Charles died, the title passed to Louis XI of France. Provence
Provence
was legally incorporated into the French royal domain in 1486. 1486 to 1789[edit] Soon after Provence
Provence
became part of France, it became involved in the Wars of Religion that swept the country in the 16th century. Between 1493 and 1501, many Jews were expelled from their homes and sought sanctuary in the region of Avignon, which was still under the direct rule of the Pope. In 1545, the Parliament of Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence
ordered the destruction of the villages of Lourmarin, Mérindol, Cabriéres in the Luberon, because their inhabitants were Vaudois, of Italian Piedmontese
Piedmontese
origin, and were not considered sufficiently orthodox Catholics. Most of Provence
Provence
remained strongly Catholic, with only one enclave of Protestants, the principality of Orange, Vaucluse, an enclave ruled by Prince William of the House of Orange-Nassau
House of Orange-Nassau
of the Netherlands, which was created in 1544 and was not incorporated into France
France
until 1673. An army of the Catholic League laid siege to the Protestant city of Mėnerbes in the Vaucluse
Vaucluse
between 1573 and 1578. The wars did not stop until the end of the 16th century, with the consolidation of power in Provence
Provence
by the House of Bourbon
House of Bourbon
kings.

View of Toulon
Toulon
Harbour around 1750, by Joseph Vernet.

The semi-independent Parliament of Provence
Provence
in Aix and some of the cities of Provence, particularly Marseille, continued to rebel against the authority of the Bourbon king. After uprisings in 1630–31 and 1648–1652, the young King Louis XIV
Louis XIV
had two large forts, fort St. Jean and Fort St. Nicholas, built at the harbour entrance to control the city's unruly population. At the beginning of the 16th century, Cardinal Richelieu
Cardinal Richelieu
began to build a naval arsenal and dockyard at Toulon
Toulon
to serve as a base for a new French Mediterranean fleet. The base was greatly enlarged by Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the minister of Louis XIV, who also commissioned his chief military engineer Vauban
Vauban
to strengthen the fortifications around the city. At the beginning of the 17th century, Provence
Provence
had a population of about 450,000 people.[24] It was predominantly rural, devoted to raising wheat, wine, and olives, with small industries for tanning, pottery, perfume-making, and ship and boat building. Provençal quilts, made from the mid-17th century onwards, were successfully exported to England, Spain, Italy, Germany and Holland.[25] There was considerable commerce along the coast, and up and down the Rhône river. The cities: Marseille, Toulon, Avignon
Avignon
and Aix-en-Provence, saw the construction of boulevards and richly decorated private houses.

Marseille
Marseille
in 1754, by Vernet

At the beginning of the 18th century, Provence
Provence
suffered from the economic malaise of the end of the reign of Louis XIV. The plague struck the region between 1720 and 1722, beginning in Marseille, killing some 40,000 people. Still, by the end of the century, many artisanal industries began to flourish; making perfumes in Grasse; olive oil in Aix and the Alpilles; textiles in Orange, Avignon
Avignon
and Tarascon; and faience pottery in Marseille, Apt, Aubagne, and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. Many immigrants arrived from Liguria
Liguria
and the Piedmont
Piedmont
in Italy. By the end of the 18th century, Marseille
Marseille
had a population of 120,000 people, making it the third largest city in France.[24] During the French Revolution[edit] Main article: French Revolution Though most of Provence, with the exception of Marseille, Aix and Avignon, was rural, conservative and largely royalist, it did produce some memorable figures in the French Revolution; Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau from Aix, who tried to moderate the Revolution, and turn France
France
into a constitutional monarchy like England; the Marquis de Sade
Marquis de Sade
from Lacoste in the Luberon, who was a Deputy from the far left in the National Assembly; Charles Barbaroux from Marseille, who sent a battalion of volunteers to Paris to fight in the French Revolutionary Army; and Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès (1748–1836), an abbé, essayist and political leader, who was one of the chief theorists of the French Revolution, French Consulate, and First French Empire, and who, in 1799, was the instigator of the coup d'état of 18 Brumaire, which brought Napoleon
Napoleon
to power.

La Marseillaise
La Marseillaise
1792

Provence
Provence
also produced the most memorable song of the period, the La Marseillaise. Though the song was originally written by a citizen of Strasbourg, Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
in 1792, and it was originally a war song for the revolutionary Army of the Rhine, it became famous when it sung on the streets of Paris by the volunteers from Marseille, who had heard it when it was sung in Marseille
Marseille
by a young volunteer from Montpellier
Montpellier
named François Mireur. It became the most popular song of the Revolution, and in 1879 became the national anthem of France. The Revolution was as violent and bloody in Provence
Provence
as it was in other parts of France. On 30 April 1790, Fort Saint-Nicolas in Marseille
Marseille
was besieged, and many of the soldiers inside were massacred. On 17 October 1791 a massacre of royalists and religious figures took place in the ice storage rooms (glaciere) of the prison of the Palace of the Popes in Avignon. When the radical Montagnards seized power from the Girondins
Girondins
in May 1793, a real counter-revolution broke out in Avignon, Marseille
Marseille
and Toulon. A revolutionary army under General Carteaux recaptured Marseille
Marseille
in August 1793 and renamed it "City without a Name" (Ville sans Nom.) In Toulon, the opponents of the Revolution handed the city to a British and Spanish fleet on 28 August 1793. A Revolutionary Army laid siege to the British positions for four months (see the Siege of Toulon), and finally, thanks to the enterprise of the young commander of artillery, Napoleon
Napoleon
Bonaparte, defeated the British and drove them out in December 1793. About 15,000 royalists escaped with the British fleet, but five to eight hundred of the 7,000 who remained were shot on the Champ de Mars, and Toulon
Toulon
was renamed "Port la Montagne". The fall of the Montagnards in July 1794 was followed by a new White Terror aimed at the revolutionaries. Calm was only restored by the rise of Napoleon
Napoleon
to power in 1795. Under Napoleon[edit] Napoleon
Napoleon
restored the belongings and power of the families of the old regime in Provence. The British fleet of Admiral Horatio Nelson blockaded Toulon, and almost all maritime commerce was stopped, causing hardship and poverty. When Napoleon
Napoleon
was defeated, his fall was celebrated in Provence. When he escaped from Elba
Elba
on 1 March 1815, and landed at Golfe-Juan, he detoured to avoid the cities of Provence, which were hostile to him, and therefore directed his small force directly to the northeast of it.[26] 19th century[edit]

Marseille
Marseille
in 1825

Provence
Provence
enjoyed prosperity in the 19th century; the ports of Marseille
Marseille
and Toulon
Toulon
connected Provence
Provence
with the expanding French Empire in North Africa and the Orient, especially after the opening of the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
in 1869. In April–July 1859, Napoleon
Napoleon
III made a secret agreement with Cavour, Prime Minister of Piedmont, for France
France
to assist in expelling Austria from the Italian Peninsula
Italian Peninsula
and bringing about a united Italy, in exchange for Piedmont
Piedmont
ceding Savoy
Savoy
and the Nice
Nice
region to France. He went to war with Austria in 1859 and won a victory at Solferino, which resulted in Austria ceding Lombardy
Lombardy
to France. France immediately ceded Lombardy
Lombardy
to Piedmont, and, in return, Napoleon received Savoy
Savoy
and Nice
Nice
in 1860, and Roquebrune-Cap-Martin
Roquebrune-Cap-Martin
and Menton in 1861. The railroad connected Paris with Marseille
Marseille
(1848) and then with Toulon
Toulon
and Nice
Nice
(1864). Nice, Antibes
Antibes
and Hyères
Hyères
became popular winter resorts for European royalty, including Queen Victoria. Under Napoleon
Napoleon
III, Marseille
Marseille
grew to a population of 250,000, including a very large Italian community. Toulon
Toulon
had a population of 80,000. The large cities like Marseille
Marseille
and Toulon
Toulon
saw the building of churches, opera houses, grand boulevards, and parks. After the fall of Louis Napoleon
Napoleon
following the defeat in the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
barricades went up in the streets of Marseille
Marseille
(23 March 1871) and the Communards, led by Gaston Cremieux and following the lead of the Paris Commune, took control of the city. The Commune was crushed by the army and Cremieux was executed on 30 November 1871. Though Provence
Provence
was generally conservative, it often elected reformist leaders; Prime Minister Léon Gambetta
Léon Gambetta
was the son of a Marseille grocer, and future prime minister Georges Clemenceau
Georges Clemenceau
was elected deputy from the Var in 1885. The second half of the 19th century saw a revival of the Provençal language and culture, particularly traditional rural values. driven by a movement of writers and poets called the Felibrige, led by poet Frédéric Mistral. Mistral achieved literary success with his novel Miréio (Mireille in French); he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1904. 20th century[edit] Between World War I and World War II, Provence
Provence
was bitterly divided between the more conservative rural areas and the more radical big cities. There were widespread strikes in Marseille
Marseille
in 1919, and riots in Toulon
Toulon
in 1935. After the defeat of France
France
by Germany in June 1940, France
France
was divided into an occupied zone and unoccupied zone, with Provence
Provence
in the unoccupied zone. Parts of eastern Provence
Provence
were occupied by Italian soldiers. Collaboration and passive resistance gradually gave way to more active resistance, particularly after Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941 and the Communist Party became active in the resistance. Jean Moulin, the deputy of Charles de Gaulle, the leader of the Free France
France
resistance movement, was parachuted into Eygalières, in the Bouches-du- Rhône
Rhône
on 2 January 1942 to unite the diverse resistance movements in all of France
France
against the Germans. In November 1942, following Allied landings in North Africa (Operation Torch), the Germans occupied all of Provence
Provence
(Operation Attila) and then headed for Toulon
Toulon
(Case Anton). The French fleet at Toulon sabotaged its own ships to keep them from falling into German hands. The Germans began a systematic rounding-up of French Jews and refugees from Nice
Nice
and Marseille. Many thousands were taken to concentration camps, and few survived. A large quarter around the port of Marseille was emptied of inhabitants and dynamited, so it would not serve as a base for the resistance. Nonetheless, the resistance grew stronger; the leader of the pro-German militia, the Milice, in Marseille
Marseille
was assassinated in April 1943. On 15 August 1944, two months after the Allied landings in Normandy (Operation Overlord), the Seventh United States Army
Seventh United States Army
under General Alexander Patch, with a Free French
Free French
corps under General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny, landed on the coast of the Var between St. Raphael and Cavalaire
Cavalaire
(Operation Dragoon). The American forces moved north toward Manosque, Sisteron
Sisteron
and Gap, while the French First Armored Division under General Vigier liberated Brignoles, Salon, Arles, and Avignon. The Germans in Toulon
Toulon
resisted until 27 August, and Marseille
Marseille
was not liberated until 25 August. After the end of the War, Provence
Provence
faced an enormous task of repair and reconstruction, particularly of the ports and railroads destroyed during the war. As part of this effort, the first modern concrete apartment block, the Unité d'Habitation
Unité d'Habitation
of Corbusier, was built in Marseille
Marseille
in 1947–52. In 1962, Provence
Provence
absorbed a large number of French citizens who left Algeria after its independence. Since that time, large North African communities settled in and around the big cities, particularly Marseille
Marseille
and Toulon. In the 1940s, Provence
Provence
underwent a cultural renewal, with the founding of the Avignon
Avignon
Festival of theatre (1947), the reopening of the Cannes Film Festival (begun in 1939), and many other major events. With the building of new highways, particularly the Paris Marseille
Marseille
autoroute which opened in 1970, Provence
Provence
became destination for mass tourism from all over Europe. Many Europeans, particularly from Britain, bought summer houses in Provence. The arrival of the TGV
TGV
high-speed trains shortened the trip from Paris to Marseille
Marseille
to less than four hours. At the end of the 20th century, and the beginning of the 21st century, the residents of Provence
Provence
were struggling to reconcile economic development and population growth with their desire to preserve the landscape and culture that make Provence
Provence
unique. Extent and geography[edit]

The Roman Province of Gallia Narbonensis
Gallia Narbonensis
around 58 BC

The original Roman province was called Gallia Transalpina, then Gallia Narbonensis, or simply Provincia Nostra ('Our Province') or Provincia. It extended from the Alps
Alps
to the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
and north to the Vaucluse, with its capital in Narbo Martius (present-day Narbonne). Borders[edit] In the 15th century the Conté of Provence
Provence
was bounded by the Var river on the east, the Rhône
Rhône
river to the west, with the Mediterranean to the south, and a northern border that roughly followed the Durance
Durance
river. The Comtat
Comtat
Venaissin, a territory which included Avignon, and the principality of Orange were both papal states, ruled by the Pope from the 13th century until the French Revolution. At the end of the 14th century, another piece of Provence
Provence
along the Italian border, including Nice
Nice
and the lower Alps, was detached from Provence
Provence
and attached to the lands of the Duke of Savoy. The lower Alps
Alps
were re-attached to France
France
after the Treaty of Utrecht
Treaty of Utrecht
in 1713, but Nice
Nice
did not return to France
France
until 1860, during the reign of Napoleon
Napoleon
III.[27] The administrative region of Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
was created in 1982. It included Provence, plus the territory of the Comtat
Comtat
Venaissin around Avignon, the eastern portion of the Dauphiné, and the former county of Nice. Rivers[edit]

The Rhône
Rhône
at Avignon

The Rhône
Rhône
river, on the western border of Provence, is one of the major rivers of France, and has been a highway of commerce and communications between inland France
France
and the Mediterranean for centuries. It rises as the effluent of the Rhône
Rhône
Glacier in Valais, Switzerland, in the Saint-Gotthard massif, at an altitude of 1753 m. It is joined by the river Saône
Saône
at Lyon. Along the Rhône
Rhône
Valley, it is joined on the right bank by Cévennes
Cévennes
rivers Eyrieux, Ardèche, Cèze
Cèze
and Gardon
Gardon
or Gard, on the left Alps
Alps
bank by rivers Isère, Drôme, Ouvèze
Ouvèze
and Durance. At Arles, the Rhône
Rhône
divides itself in two arms, forming the Camargue
Camargue
delta, with all branches flowing into the Mediterranean Sea. One arm is called the "Grand Rhône"; the other one is the "Petit Rhône".

The Gorge du Verdon.

The Durance
Durance
river, a tributary of the Rhône, has its source in the Alps
Alps
near Briançon. It flows south-west through Embrun, Sisteron, Manosque, Cavaillon, and Avignon, where it meets the Rhône. The Verdon River
Verdon River
is a tributary of the Durance, rising at an altitude of 2,400 metres in the southwestern Alps
Alps
near Barcelonette, and flowing southwest for 175 kilometres through the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
and Var (départements) before it reaches the Durance
Durance
at near Vinon-sur-Verdon, south of Manosque. The Verdon is best known for its canyon, the Verdon Gorge. This limestone canyon, also called the 'Grand Canyon
Canyon
of Verdon', 20 kilometres in length and more than 300 metres deep, is a popular climbing and sight-seeing area. The Var River
Var River
rises near the Col de la Cayolle (2,326 m/7,631 ft) in the Maritime Alps
Alps
and flows generally southeast for 120 kilometres (75 mi) into the Mediterranean between Nice
Nice
and Saint-Laurent-du-Var. Before Nice
Nice
was returned to France
France
in 1860, the Var marked the eastern border of France
France
along the Mediterranean. The Var is the unique case in France
France
of a river giving a name to a department, but not flowing through that department (due to subsequent adjustments to the department's boundaries). The Camargue[edit] With an area of over 930 km2 (360 mi2), the Camargue
Camargue
is Western Europe's largest river delta (technically an island, as it is wholly surrounded by water). It is a vast plain comprising large brine lagoons or étangs, cut off from the sea by sandbars and encircled by reed-covered marshes which are in turn surrounded by a large cultivated area. The Camargue
Camargue
is home to more than 400 species of birds, the brine ponds providing one of the few European habitats for the greater flamingo. The marshes are also a prime habitat for many species of insects, notably (and notoriously) some of the most ferocious mosquitoes to be found anywhere in France. It is also famous for bulls and the Camargue
Camargue
horse. Mountains[edit]

Vallon de Mollières, Mercantour National Park.

Alpilles
Alpilles
landscape near Le Destet.

By considering the Maritime Alps, along the border with Italy, as a part of the cultural Provence, they constitute the highest elevations of the region (the Punta dell'Argentera
Punta dell'Argentera
has an elevation of 3,297 m). They form the border between the French département Alpes-Maritimes and the Italian province of Cuneo. Mercantour National Park
Mercantour National Park
is located in the Maritime Alps. On the other hand, if the département Hautes Alpes is also considered as part of the modern Provence, then the alpin Écrins mountains represent the highest elevations of the region with the Barre des Écrins
Barre des Écrins
culminating at 4102m.

View of Mont Ventoux
Mont Ventoux
from Mirabel-aux-Baronnies.

Outside of the Maritime Alps, Mont Ventoux
Mont Ventoux
(Occitan: Ventor in classical norm or Ventour in Mistralian norm), at 1,909 metres (6,263 ft), is the highest peak in Provence. It is located some 20 km north-east of Carpentras, Vaucluse. On the north side, the mountain borders the Drôme département. It is nicknamed the "Giant of Provence", or "The Bald Mountain". Although geologically part of the Alps, is often considered to be separate from them, due to the lack of mountains of a similar height nearby. It stands alone to the west of the Luberon
Luberon
range, and just to the east of the Dentelles de Montmirail, its foothills. The top of the mountain is bare limestone without vegetation or trees. The white limestone on the mountain's barren peak means it appears from a distance to be snow-capped all year round (its snow cover actually lasts from December to April). The Alpilles
Alpilles
are a chain of small mountains located about 20 kilometres (12 mi) south of Avignon. Although they are not particularly high – only some 387 metres (1,270 ft) at their highest point – the Alpilles
Alpilles
stand out since they rise abruptly from the plain of the Rhône
Rhône
valley. The range is about 25 km long by about 8 to 10 km wide, running in an east–west direction between the Rhône
Rhône
and Durance
Durance
rivers. The landscape of the Alpilles is one of arid limestone peaks separated by dry valleys.

Mont Sainte-Victoire, painted by Paul Cézanne

Montagne Sainte-Victoire
Montagne Sainte-Victoire
is probably the best-known mountain in Provence, thanks to the painter Paul Cézanne, who could see it from his home, and painted it frequently. It is a limestone mountain ridge which extends over 18 kilometres between the départements of Bouches-du- Rhône
Rhône
and Var. Its highest point is the Pic des mouches at 1,011 m.

The massif des Maures

The Massif des Maures (Mountains of the Moors) is a small chain of mountains that lies along the coast of the Mediterranean in the Var Department between Hyères
Hyères
et Fréjus. Its highest point is the signal de la Sauvette, 780 metres high. The name is a souvenir of the Moors (Maures in Old French), Arabs
Arabs
and Berbers from North Africa, who settled on the coast of Provence
Provence
in the 9th and 10th centuries. The massif des Maures extends about sixty kilometres along the coast, and reaches inland about thirty kilometres. On the north it is bordered by a depression which is followed by the routes nationales 97 and 7 and the railroad line between Toulon
Toulon
and Nice. On the south it ends abruptly at the Mediterranean, forming a broken and abrupt coastline. The peninsula of Saint-Tropez
Saint-Tropez
is part of the Massif des Maures, along with the peninsula of Giens and the islands offshore of Hyères; Porquerolles, Port-Cros, and île du Levant. Cape Sicié, west of Toulon, as well as the massif of Tanneron, belong geologically to the massif des Maures. The Calanques[edit]

Calanque
Calanque
de Sugiton

The Calanques, also known as the Massif des Calanques, are a dramatic feature of the Provence
Provence
coast, a 20-km long series of narrow inlets in the cliffs of the coastline between Marseille
Marseille
on the west and Cassis on the east. The highest peak in the massif is Mont Puget, 565 metres high. The best known calanques of the Massif des Calanques
Calanques
include the Calanque
Calanque
de Sormiou, the Calanque
Calanque
de Morgiou, the Calanque
Calanque
d'En-Vau, the Calanque
Calanque
de Port-Pin and the Calanque
Calanque
de Sugiton. Calanques
Calanques
are remains of ancient river mouths formed mostly during Tertiary. Later, during quaternary glaciations, as glaciers swept by, they further deepened those valleys which would eventually (at the end of the last glaciation) be invaded with sea and become calanques.

The Garrigue, typical landscape of Provence

The Cosquer cave
Cosquer cave
is an underwater grotto in the Calanque
Calanque
de Morgiou, 37 metres (121 ft) underwater, that was inhabited during Paleolithic
Paleolithic
era, when the sea level was much lower than today. Its walls are covered with paintings and engravings dating back to between 27,000 and 19,000 BC, depicting animals such as bison, ibex, and horses, as well as sea mammals such as seals, and at least one bird, the auk. Landscapes[edit] The Garrigue
Garrigue
is the typical landscape of Provence; it is a type of low, soft-leaved scrubland or chaparral found on limestone soils around the Mediterranean Basin, generally near the seacoast, where the climate is moderate, but where there are annual summer drought conditions.[28] Juniper
Juniper
and stunted holm oaks are the typical trees; aromatic lime-tolerant shrubs such as lavender, sage, rosemary, wild thyme and Artemisia are common garrigue plants. The open landscape of the garrigue is punctuated by dense thickets of Kermes oak. Climate[edit]

Mistral wind blowing near Marseille. In the center is the Château d'If

Sisteron
Sisteron
– la Baume rock

Forcalquier
Forcalquier
Cathedral

Most of Provence
Provence
has a Mediterranean climate, characterised by hot, dry summers, mild winters, little snow, and abundant sunshine. Within Provence
Provence
there are micro-climates and local variations, ranging from the Alpine climate
Alpine climate
inland from Nice
Nice
to the continental climate in the northern Vaucluse. The winds of Provence
Provence
are an important feature of the climate, particularly the mistral, a cold, dry wind which, especially in the winter, blows down the Rhône
Rhône
Valley to the Bouches-du- Rhône
Rhône
and the Var Departments, and often reaches over one hundred kilometres an hour. Bouches-du-Rhône[edit] Marseille, in the Bouches-du-Rhône, has an average of 59 days of rain a year, though when it does rain the rain is often torrential; the average annual rainfall is 544.4 mm. It snows an average of 2.3 days a year, and the snow rarely remains long. Marseille
Marseille
has an average of 2835.5 hours of sunshine a year. The average minimum temperature in January is 2.3 °C., and the average maximum temperature in July is 29.3 °C. The mistral blows an average of one hundred days a year.[29] The Var[edit] Toulon
Toulon
and the Department of the Var (which includes St. Tropez
St. Tropez
and Hyères) have a climate slightly warmer, dryer and sunnier than Nice and the Alpes-Maritime, but also less sheltered from the wind. Toulon has an average of 2899.3 hours of sunshine a year, making it the sunniest city in metropolitan France,[30] The average maximum daily temperature in August is 29.1 °C., and the average daily minimum temperature in January is 5.8 °C. The average annual rainfall is 665 mm, with the most rain from October to November. Strong winds blow an average of 118 days a year in Toulon, compared with 76 days at Fréjus
Fréjus
further east. The strongest Mistral wind recorded in Toulon was 130 kilometres an hour.[31] Alpes-Maritimes[edit] Nice
Nice
and the Alpes-Maritimes
Alpes-Maritimes
Department are sheltered by the Alps, and are the most protected part of the Mediterranean coast. The winds in this department are usually gentle, blowing from the sea to the land, though sometimes the Mistral blows strongly from the northwest, or, turned by the mountains, from the east. In 1956 a mistral wind from the northwest reached the speed of 180 kilometres an hour at Nice airport. Sometimes in summer the scirocco brings high temperatures and reddish desert sand from Africa. (See Winds of Provence.) Rainfall is infrequent – 63 days a year, but can be torrential, particularly in September, when storms and rain are caused by the difference between the colder air inland and the warm Mediterranean water temperature (20–24 degrees C.). The average annual rainfall in Nice
Nice
is 767 mm, more than in Paris, but concentrated in fewer days. Snow is extremely rare, usually falling once every ten years. 1956 was a very exceptional year, when 20 centimetres of snow blanketed the coast. In January 1985 the coast between Cannes
Cannes
and Menton
Menton
received 30 to 40 centimetres of snow. In the mountains, the snow is present from November to May Nice
Nice
has an annual average of 2694 hours of sunshine. The average maximum daily temperature in Nice
Nice
in August is 28 °C., and the average minimum daily temperature in January is 6 °C.[32] Alpes-de-Haute-Provence[edit] The Department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
has a Mediterranean climate in the lower valleys under one thousand metres in altitude and an alpine climate in the high valleys, such as the valleys of the Blanche, the Haut Verdon and the Ubaye, which are over 2500 metres high. The alpine climate in the higher mountains is moderated by the warmer air from the Mediterranean. Haute- Provence
Provence
has unusually high summer temperatures for its altitude and latitude (44 degrees north). The average summer temperature is 22 to 23 °C. at an altitude of 400 metres, and 18 to 19 °C. at the altitude of 1000 metres; and the winter average temperature is 4 to 5 °C. at 400 metres and 0 C. at 1000 metres. The lower valleys have 50 days of freezing temperatures a year, more in the higher valleys. Sometimes the temperatures in the high valleys can reach −30 °C. Because of this combination of high mountains and Mediterranean air, it is not unusual that the region frequently has some of the lowest winter temperatures and some of the hottest summer temperatures in France. Rainfall in Haute- Provence
Provence
is infrequent – 60 to 80 days a year – but can be torrential; 650 to 900 mm. a year in the foothills and plateaus of the southwest, and in the valley of the Ubaye; and 900 to 1500 mm. in the mountains. Most rainfall comes in the autumn, in brief and intense storms; from mid-June to mid-August, rain falls during brief but violent thunderstorms. Thunder can be heard 30 to 40 days a year. Snow falls in the mountains from November to May, and in midwinter can be found down to altitude of 1000–1200 metres on the shady side of the mountains and 1300 to 1600 metres on the sunny side. Snowfalls are usually fairly light, and melt rapidly. The Mistral (wind)
Mistral (wind)
is a feature of the climate in the western part of the Department, blowing from the north and the northwest, bringing clear and dry weather. The eastern part of the department is more protected from the Mistral. The Marin (wind) comes from the south, bringing warm air, clouds and rain. Haute- Provence
Provence
is one of the sunniest regions of France, with an average of between 2550 and 2650 hours of sunshine annually in the north of the department, and 2700 to 2800 hours in the southwest. The clear nights and sunny days cause a sharp difference between nighttime and daytime temperatures. Because of the clear nights, the region is home of important observatories, such as the Observatory of Haute- Provence
Provence
in Saint-Michel-Observatoire near of Forcalquier.[33] The Vaucluse[edit] The Vaucluse
Vaucluse
is the meeting point of three of the four different climatic zones of France; it has a Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
in the south, an alpine climate in the northeast, around the mountains of Vaucluse and the massif of the Baronnies; and a continental climate in the northwest. The close proximity of these three different climates tends to moderate all of them, and the Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
usually prevails. Orange in the Vaucluse
Vaucluse
has 2595 hours of sunshine a year. It rains an average of 80 days a year, for a total of 693.4 mm a year. The maximum average temperature in July is 29.6 °C., and the average minimum temperature in January is 1.3 °C. There are an average of 110 days of strong winds a year.[34] Language and literature[edit] Scientists, scholars and prophets[edit]

Pytheas
Pytheas
(4th century BCE) was a geographer and mathematician who lived in the Greek colony of Massalia, which became Marseille. He conducted an expedition by sea north around England to Iceland, and was the first to describe the midnight sun and polar regions. Petrarch
Petrarch
(1304–1374) was an Italian poet and scholar, considered the father of humanism and one of the first great figures of Italian literature. He spent much of his early life in Avignon
Avignon
and Carpentras as an official at the Papal court in Avignon, and wrote a famous account of his ascent of Mount Ventoux
Mount Ventoux
near Aix-en-Provence. Nostradamus
Nostradamus
(1503–1566), a Renaissance
Renaissance
apothecary and reputed clairvoyant best known for his alleged prophecies of great world events, was born in Saint-Remy-de-Provence
Saint-Remy-de-Provence
and lived and died in Salon-de-Provence.

Occitan
Occitan
literature[edit] Main articles: Occitan language
Occitan language
and Occitan
Occitan
literature

Raimbaut de Vaqueiras, from a collection of troubadour songs, BNF Richelieu Manuscrits Français 854, Bibliothèque Nationale Française, Paris.

Historically the language spoken in Provence
Provence
was Provençal, a dialect of the Occitan
Occitan
language, also known as langue d'oc, and closely related to Catalan. There are several regional variations: vivaro-alpin, spoken in the Alps; and the provençal variations of south, including the maritime, the rhoadanien (in the Rhône
Rhône
Valley) and the niçois (in Nice). Niçois is the archaic form of provençal closest to the original language of the troubadours, and is sometimes to said to be literary language of its own.[35] Provençal was widely spoken in Provence
Provence
until the beginning of the 20th century, when the French government launched an intensive and largely successful effort to replace regional languages with French. Today Provençal is taught in schools and universities in the region, but is spoken regularly by a small number of people, probably less than five hundred thousand, mostly elderly. Writers and poets in the Occitan
Occitan
language[edit]

"Folquet de Marselha" in a 13th-century chansonnier. Depicted in his episcopal robes

The golden age of Provençal literature, more correctly called Occitan literature, was the 11th century and the 12th century, when the troubadours broke away from classical Latin literature
Latin literature
and composed romances and love songs in their own vernacular language. Among the most famous troubadours was Folquet de Marselha, whose love songs became famous all over Europe, and who was praised by Dante
Dante
in his Divine Comedy. In his later years, Folquet gave up poetry to become the Abbot
Abbot
of Le Thoronet Abbey, and then Bishop of Toulouse, where he fiercely persecuted the Cathars. In the middle of the 19th century, there was a literary movement to revive the language, called the Félibrige, led by the poet Frédéric Mistral (1830–1914), who shared the Nobel Prize for Literature
Nobel Prize for Literature
in 1904. Provençal writers and poets who wrote in Occitan
Occitan
include:

Raimbaut de Vaqueiras (1180–1207) Louis Bellaud
Louis Bellaud
(1543–1588) Théodore Aubanel (1829–1886) Joseph d'Arbaud
Joseph d'Arbaud
(1874–1950) Robert Lafont (1923–2009)

French authors[edit]

Alphonse Daudet

Colette

Alphonse Daudet
Alphonse Daudet
(1840–1897) was the best-known French writer from Provence
Provence
in the 19th century, though he lived mostly in Paris and Champrosay. He was best known for his Lettres de mon moulin (eng: Letters from my Mill) (1869) and the Tartarin de Tarascon
Tarascon
trilogy (1872, 1885, 1890). His story L'Arlésienne (1872) was made into a three-act play with music by Bizet.[36] Marcel Pagnol
Marcel Pagnol
(1895–1970), born in Aubagne, is known both as a filmmaker and for his stories of his childhood, Le Château de la Mere, La Gloire de mon Pere, and Le Temps des secrets. He was the first filmmaker to become a member of the Académie française
Académie française
in 1946. Colette
Colette
(Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette) (1873–1954), although she was not from Provence, became particularly attached to Saint-Tropez. After World War II, she headed a committee which saw that the village, badly damaged by the war, was restored to its original beauty and character Jean Giono (1895–1970), born in Manosque, wrote about peasant life in Provence, inspired by his imagination and by his vision of Ancient Greece. Paul Arène
Paul Arène
(1843–1896), born in Sisteron, wrote about life and the countryside around his home town.

Emigrés, exiles, and expatriates[edit] In the 19th and 20th centuries, the climate and lifestyle of Provence attracted writers almost as much as it attracted painters. It was particularly popular among British, American and Russian writers in the 1920s and 1930s.

Edith Wharton
Edith Wharton
(1862–1937), bought Castel Sainte-Claire
Castel Sainte-Claire
in 1927, on the site of a former convent in the hills above Hyères, where she lived during the winters and springs until her death in 1937. F. Scott Fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald
(1896–1940) and his wife Zelda first visited the Riviera in 1924, stopping at Hyères, Cannes
Cannes
and Monte Carlo, eventually staying at St. Raphaël, where he wrote much of The Great Gatsby and began Tender is the Night. Ivan Bunin
Ivan Bunin
(1870–1953), the first Russian writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, went to France
France
after the Russian Revolution, set several of his short stories on the Côte d'Azur, and had a house in Grasse. Somerset Maugham
Somerset Maugham
(1874–1965) bought a house, the Villa Mauresque, in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
in 1928, and, except for the years of World War II, spent much of his time there until his death.

Other English-speaking writers who live in or have written about Provence
Provence
include:

Peter Mayle Carol Drinkwater John Lanchester Willa Cather Charles Spurgeon
Charles Spurgeon
(who spent long periods in Menton) Katherine Mansfield Lawrence Durrell

Music[edit] Music written about Provence
Provence
includes:

The saxophone concerto Tableaux de Provence
Provence
(Pictures of Provence) composed by Paule Maurice. The opera Mireille by Charles Gounod
Charles Gounod
after Frédéric Mistral's poem Mireio. Georges Bizet, 'L'Arlésienne' incidental music to play by Alphonse Daudet. Darius Milhaud, 'Suite Provençale' Two song settings of Vladimir Nabokov's poem "Provence" in Russian and English versions by composers Ivan Barbotin and James DeMars on the 2011 contemporary classical album Troika.[37] The piece "Suite Provencale", written for symphonic band by Jan Van der Roost.

Painters[edit]

The 14th-century ceiling of the cloister of Fréjus Cathedral
Fréjus Cathedral
is decorated with paintings of animals, people and mythical creatures

Triptych
Triptych
of the Burning Bush, by Nicolas Froment, in Aix Cathedral (15th century)

Artists have been painting in Provence
Provence
since prehistoric times; paintings of bisons, seals, auks and horses dating to between 27,000 and 19,000 BC were found in the Cosquer Cave
Cosquer Cave
near Marseille.[38] The 14th-century wooden ceiling of the cloister of Fréjus
Fréjus
Cathedral has a remarkable series of paintings of biblical scenes, fantastic animals, and scenes from daily life, painted between 1350 and 1360. They include paintings of a fallen angel with the wings of a bat, a demon with the tail of a serpent, angels playing instruments, a tiger, an elephant, an ostrich, domestic and wild animals, a mermaid, a dragon, a centaur, a butcher, a knight, and a juggler.[39] Nicolas Froment
Nicolas Froment
(1435–1486) was the most important painter of Provence
Provence
during the Renaissance, best known for his triptych of the Burning Bush (c. 1476), commissioned by King René I of Naples. The painting shows a combination of Moses, the Burning Bush, and the Virgin Mary "who gave birth but remained a virgin", just as the bush of Moses "-burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed". This is the explication according to a plaque in the cathedral. A more likely reason for the juxtaposition is that in 1400 a shepherd, or shepherds, discovered a miraculous statue of the Virgin and Child inside another burning bush (thorn bush specifically), in the village of L'Epine in the present day department of La Marne. The site and statue were later visited by the "Bon Roi René". The wings of the triptych show King René with Mary Magdalene, St. Anthony and St. Maurice
St. Maurice
on one side, and Queen Jeanne de Laval, with Saint Catherine, John the Evangelist, and Saint Nicholas
Saint Nicholas
on the other.[40] Louis Bréa
Louis Bréa
(1450–1523) was a 15th-century painter, born in Nice, whose work is found in churches from Genoa to Antibes. His Retable of Saint-Nicholas (1500) is found in Monaco, and his Retable de Notre-Dame-de-Rosaire (1515) is found in Antibes. Pierre Paul Puget
Pierre Paul Puget
(1620–1694), born in Marseille, was a painter of portraits and religious scenes, but was better known for his sculptures, found in Toulon
Toulon
Cathedral, outside the city hall of Toulon, and in the Louvre. There is a mountain named for him near Marseille, and a square in Toulon.

Paul Cézanne, L'Estaque, 1883–1885

Vincent van Gogh, Cafe Terrace at Night, September 1888

Paul Signac, The Port of Saint-Tropez, oil on canvas, 1901

In the 19th and 20th centuries, many of the most famous painters in the world converged on Provence, drawn by the climate and the clarity of the light. The special quality of the light is partly a result of the Mistral wind, which removes dust from the atmosphere, greatly increasing visibility.

Adolphe Monticelli
Adolphe Monticelli
(1824–1886) was born in Marseille, moved to Paris in 1846 and returned to Marseille
Marseille
in 1870. His work influenced Vincent van Gogh who greatly admired him.[41] Paul Cézanne
Paul Cézanne
(1839–1906) was born in Aix-en-Provence, and lived and worked there most of his life. The local landscapes, particularly Montagne Sainte-Victoire, featured often in his work. He also painted frequently at L'Estaque. Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh
(1853–1890) lived little more than two years in Provence, but his fame as a painter is largely a result of what he painted there. He lived in Arles
Arles
from February 1888 to May 1889, and then in Saint-Remy from May 1889 until May 1890. Auguste Renoir
Auguste Renoir
(1841–1919) visited Beaulieu, Grasse, Saint Raphael and Cannes, before finally settling in Cagnes-sur-Mer
Cagnes-sur-Mer
in 1907, where he bought a farm in the hills and built a new house and workshop on the grounds. He continued to paint there until his death in 1919. His house is now a museum. Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse
(1869–1954) first visited St. Tropez
St. Tropez
in 1904. In 1917 he settled in Nice, first at the Hotel Beau Rivage, then the Hotel de la Mediterranée, then la Villa des Allies in Cimiez. In 1921 he lived in an apartment at 1 Place Felix Faure in Nice, next to the flower market and overlooking the sea, where he lived until 1938. He then moved to the Hotel Regina in the hills of Cimiez, above Nice. During World War II he lived in Vence, then returned to Cimiez, where he died and is buried. Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
(1881–1973) spent each summer from 1919 to 1939 on the Côte d'Azur, and moved there permanently in 1946, first at Vallauris, then at Mougins, where he spent his last years. Pierre Bonnard
Pierre Bonnard
(1867–1947) retired to and died at Le Cannet. Georges Braque
Georges Braque
(1882–1963) painted frequently at L'Estaque
L'Estaque
between 1907 and 1910. Henri-Edmond Cross
Henri-Edmond Cross
(1856–1910) discovered the Côte d'Azur in 1883 and painted at Monaco
Monaco
and Hyères. Maurice Denis
Maurice Denis
(1870–1943) painted at St. Tropez
St. Tropez
and Bandol. André Derain
André Derain
(1880–1954) painted at L'Estaque
L'Estaque
and Martigues. Raoul Dufy
Raoul Dufy
(1877–1953), whose wife was from Nice, painted in Forcalquier, Marseille
Marseille
and Martigues. Albert Marquet
Albert Marquet
(1873–1947) painted at Marseille, St. Tropez
St. Tropez
and L'Estaque. Claude Monet
Claude Monet
(1840–1927) visited Menton, Bordighera, Juan-les-Pins, Monte-Carlo, Nice, Cannes, Beaulieu and Villefranche, and painted a number of seascapes of Cap Martin, near Menton, and at Cap d'Antibes. Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch
(1863–1944) visited and painted in Nice
Nice
and Monte-Carlo (where he developed a passion for gambling), and rented a villa at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
in 1891. Paul Signac
Paul Signac
(1863–1935) visited St. Tropez
St. Tropez
in 1892, and bought a villa, La Hune, at the foot of citadel in 1897. It was at his villa that his friend, Henri Matisse, painted his famous Luxe, Calme et Volupté" in 1904. Signac made numerous paintings along the coast. Pierre Deval (1897–1993), a French modernist and figurist painter, lived and worked at the Domaine d'Orvès
Domaine d'Orvès
in La Valette-du-Var
La Valette-du-Var
from 1925 until his death in 1993. Nicolas de Staël (1914–1955) lived in Nice
Nice
and Antibes. Yves Klein
Yves Klein
(1928–1962), a native of Nice, is considered an important figure in post-war European art. Sacha Sosno
Sacha Sosno
(b. 1937) is a French painter and sculptor living and working in Nice.

Source and Bibliography about artists on the Mediterranean

Méditerranée de Courbet á Matisse, catalogue of the exhibit at the Grand Palais, Paris from September 2000 to January 2001. Published by the Réunion
Réunion
des musées nationaux, 2000.

Film[edit] Provence
Provence
has a special place in the history of the motion picture – one of the first projected motion pictures, L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat
La Ciotat
(The Entry of a Train Into the Station of Ciotat), a fifty-second silent film, was made by Auguste and Louis Lumière
Auguste and Louis Lumière
at the train station of the coastal town of La Ciotat. It was shown to an audience in Paris on 28 December 1895, causing a sensation.[42] Before its commercial premiere in Paris, the film was shown to invited audiences in several French cities, including La Ciotat. It was shown at the Eden Theater in September 1895, making that theatre one of the first motion picture theatres, and the only of the first theatres still showing movies in 2009.[43] Three other of the earliest Lumiere films, Partie de cartes, l'Arroseur arrosé (the first known filmed comedy), and Repas de bébé, were also filmed in La Ciotat
La Ciotat
in 1895, at the Villa du Clos des Plages, the summer residence of the Lumière Brothers. Two modern French film classics particularly capture the idyllic qualities of Provence: Jean de Florette
Jean de Florette
and its sequel Manon des Sources. A modern day British film, "A Good Year", shows off the true beauty of Provence
Provence
and its vineyards. Parks and gardens in Provence[edit] Main article: Gardens of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Cuisine[edit]

An Aïoli made of garlic, salt, egg yolk and olive oil

A traditional Bouillabaisse
Bouillabaisse
from Marseille, soup and fish served separately

Brandade
Brandade
de Morue is a dish of salt cod and olive oil, served with potatoes or bread in winter

A Daube, or Provençal beef stew, cooked in wine

Pissaladière

A bowl of ratatouille with bread

Socca
Socca
of Nice
Nice
also known as La Cade in Toulon

Calissons
Calissons
from Aix

The cuisine of Provence
Provence
is the result of the warm, dry Mediterranean climate; the rugged landscape, good for grazing sheep and goats but, outside of the Rhône
Rhône
Valley, with poor soil for large-scale agriculture; and the abundant seafood on the coast. The basic ingredients are olives and olive oil; garlic; sardines, rockfish, sea urchins and octopus; lamb and goat; chickpeas; local fruits, such as grapes, peaches, apricots, strawberries, cherries, and the famous melons of Cavaillon. The fish frequently found on menus in Provence
Provence
are the rouget, a small red fish usually eaten grilled, and the loup, (known elsewhere in France
France
as the bar), often grilled with fennel over the wood of grapevines.

Aïoli is a thick emulsion sauce made from olive oil flavoured with crushed garlic. It often accompanies a bourride, a fish soup, or is served with potatoes and cod (fr. Morue). There are as many recipes as there are families in Provence. Bouillabaisse
Bouillabaisse
is the classic seafood dish of Marseille. The traditional version is made with three fish: scorpionfish, sea robin, and European conger, plus an assortment of other fish and shellfish, such as John Dory, monkfish, sea urchins, crabs and sea spiders included for flavour. The seasoning is as important as the fish, including salt, pepper, onion, tomato, saffron, fennel, sage, thyme, bay laurel, sometimes orange peel, and a cup of white wine or cognac. In Marseille
Marseille
the fish and the broth are served separately – the broth is served over thick slices of bread with rouille (see below.)[44] Brandade
Brandade
de Morue is a thick purée of salt cod, olive oil, milk, and garlic, usually spread on toast.[45] Daube
Daube
provençale is a stew made with cubed beef braised in wine, vegetables, garlic, and herbes de provence. Variations also call for olives, prunes, and flavouring with duck fat, vinegar, brandy, lavender, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, juniper berries, or orange peel. For best flavour, it is cooked in several stages, and cooled for a day between each stage to allow the flavours to meld together. In the Camargue
Camargue
area of France, bulls killed in the bullfighting festivals are sometimes used for daube. Escabeche
Escabeche
is another popular seafood dish; the fish (usually sardines) are either poached or fried after being marinated overnight in vinegar or citrus juice. Fougasse is the traditional bread of Provence, round and flat with holes cut out by the baker. Modern versions are baked with olives or nuts inside. Oursinade (fr) a sauce made from sea urchins, often applied to fish. Its name refers to a "tasting" of sea urchins. La pissaladière is another speciality of Nice. Though it resembles a pizza, it is made with bread dough and the traditional variety never has a tomato topping. It is usually sold in bakeries, and is topped with a bed of onions, lightly browned, and a kind of paste, called pissalat, made from sardines and anchovies, and the small black olives of Nice, called caillettes.[46] Ratatouille
Ratatouille
is a traditional dish of stewed vegetables, which originated in Nice.[47] Rouille
Rouille
is a mayonnaise with red pimentos, often spread onto bread and added to fish soups. Socca
Socca
is a speciality of Nice
Nice
– it is a round flat cake made of chickpea flour and olive oil, like the Italian farinata. It is baked in the oven in a large pan more than a meter in diameter, then seasoned with pepper and eaten with the fingers while hot. In Toulon socca is known as La Cade. Soupe au pistou, either cold or hot, usually made with fresh basil ground and mixed with olive oil, along with summer vegetables, such as white beans, green beans, tomatoes, summer squash, and potatoes.[48] Tapenade
Tapenade
is a relish consisting of pureed or finely chopped olives, capers, and olive oil, usually spread onto bread and served as an hors d'œuvre. The calisson is the traditional confection of Aix-en-Provence, made from a base of almond paste flavoured with confit of melon and orange. They have been made in Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence
since the 17th century. The gâteau des Rois is a type of epiphany cake found all over France; the Provençal version is different because it is made of brioche in a ring, flavoured with the essence of orange flowers and covered with sugar and fruit confit. Tarte Tropézienne
Tarte Tropézienne
is a tart of pastry cream (crème pâtissière) invented by a St. Tropez
St. Tropez
pastry chef named Alexandre Micka in the 1950s, based on a recipe he brought from his native Poland. In 1955, he was chef on the set of the film And God Created Woman when actress Brigitte Bardot
Brigitte Bardot
suggested he name the cake La Tropézienne. It is now found in bakeries throughout the Var. The Thirteen desserts
Thirteen desserts
is a Christmas tradition in Provence, when thirteen different dishes, representing Jesus and the twelve apostles, and each with a different significance, are served after the large Christmas meal. Herbes de Provence
Herbes de Provence
(or Provençal herbs) are a mixture of dried herbs from Provence
Provence
which are commonly used in Provençal cooking. And wine.

Wines[edit] Main article: Provence
Provence
wine The wines of Provence
Provence
were probably introduced into Provence
Provence
around 600 BC by the Greek Phoceans
Phoceans
who founded Marseille
Marseille
and Nice. After the Roman occupation, in 120 BC the Roman Senate
Roman Senate
forbade the growing of vines and olives in Provence, to protect the profitable trade in exporting Italian wines, but in the late Roman empire retired soldiers from Roman Legions
Roman Legions
settled in Provence
Provence
and were allowed to grow grapes.[49] The Romans complained about the competition from and poor quality of the wines of Provence. In the 1st century AD the Roman poet Martial condemned the wines of Marseille
Marseille
as "terrible poisons, and never sold at a good price."[50]

Wine estate near Vaison-la-Romaine

As recently as the 1970s the wines of Provence
Provence
had the reputation of being rather ordinary: In 1971 wine critic Hugh Johnson wrote: "The whites are dry and can lack the acidity to be refreshing; the reds are straightforward, strong and a trifle dull; it is usually the rosés, often orange-tinted, which have most appeal." He added, " Cassis
Cassis
and Bandol
Bandol
distinguish themselves for their white and red wines respectively. Cassis
Cassis
(no relation of the blackcurrant syrup) is livelier than the run of Provençal white wine, and Bandol
Bandol
leads the red in much the same way."[51] Since that time, cultivation of poorer varieties has been reduced and new technologies and methods have improved the quality considerably. The wines of Provence
Provence
are grown under demanding conditions; hot weather and abundant sunshine (Toulon, near Bandol, has the most sunshine of any city in France) which ripens the grapes quickly; little rain, and the mistral. The great majority of the wines produced in Provence
Provence
are rosés. The most characteristic grape is mourvèdre, used most famously in the red wines of Bandol. Cassis
Cassis
is the only area in Provence
Provence
known for its white wines. There are three regional classifications (Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC)) in Provence:

AOC Côtes de Provence. This AOC classification dates to 1997, though these wines were recognised in the 17th and 18th century, notably by Madame de Sévigné, who reported the habits and preferred wines of the Court of Louis XIV. The title Côtes de Provence
Provence
was already in use in 1848, but production was nearly destroyed by phylloxera later in that century, and took decades to recover. The appellation today covers 84 communes in the Var and Bouches-du- Rhône
Rhône
departments, and one in Alpes-Maritimes. The principal grapes used in the red wines are the grenache, mourvèdre, cinsault, tibouren, and syrah. For the white wines, clairette, vermentino, sémillon, and ugni blanc.

The appellation covers 20,300 hectares. 80 percent of the production is rosé wine, fifteen percent is red wine, and 5 percent white wine.

AOC Coteaux d' Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence
was classified as an AOC in 1985. The wines of Aix were originally planted by veterans of the Roman legions in the 1st century BC, and were promoted in the 15th century by René I of Naples, the last ruler of Provence. Most vineyards were destroyed by phylloxera in the 19th century, and very slowly were reconstituted. The principal grapes for the red wines and rosés are the grenache, mourvèdre, cinsault, syrah, counoise, carignan, and cabernet sauvignon. White wines are made mainly with bourboulenc, clairette, grenache blanc, and vermentino. There are 4000 hectares in production. 70 percent of the wines are rosés, 25 percent red wines, and 5 percent white wines. AOC Coteaux varois en Provence
Provence
is a recent AOC in Provence. The name Coteaux Varois was first used in 1945, and became an AOC in 1993. the name was changed to Couteaux Varois en Provence
Provence
in 2005. The red wines principally use the grenache, cinsaut, mourvèdre, and syrah grapes. White wines use the clairette, grenache blanc, rolle blanc, Sémillon Blanc, and Ugni Blanc. There are 2200 hectares in this AOL. It produces 80 percent rosés, 17 percent red wines, and 3 percent white wines.

In addition, there are five local classifications: (Les appellations locales):

Bandol
Bandol
AOC, grown in the Var on the coast west of Toulon, mostly around the villages of La Cadiere d'Azur
La Cadiere d'Azur
and Castellet. Wines of this appellation must have at least fifty percent Mourvèdre
Mourvèdre
grapes, though most have considerably more. Other grapes used are grenache, cinsault, syrah, and carignan. AOC Cassis, made near the coastal town of Cassis, between Toulon
Toulon
and Marseille, was the first wine in Provence
Provence
to be classified as an AOC in 1936, and is best known for its white wines. Wines from Cassis
Cassis
are described in French literature as early as the 12th century. The grapes most commonly used are the marsanne, the clairette, the ugni blanc, sauvignon blanc, and the Bourboulenc. Rosé
Rosé
wines use the grenache, carignan, and mourvèdre. AOC Bellet; at the time of the French Revolution, the little town of Saint Roman de Bellet
Bellet
(now part of Nice) was the center of an important wine region. Production was nearly destroyed by the phylloxera and by the two wars, and only in 1946 was the region again producing fully. It was classified as an AOC in 1941. Today the region is one of the smallest in France; just 47 hectares. The grapes are grown on terraces along the left bank of the Var River, east of the town. The major grapes grown for red wines and rosés are the braquet, Folle, and Cinsault, blended sometimes with grenache. For white wines, the major grapes grown are rolle blanc, roussane, spagnol, and mayorquin; the secondary grapes are clairette, bourboulenc, chardonnay, pignerol, and muscat. Palette AOC; the little village of Palete, four kilometres east of Aix-en-Provence, has long been famous for the production of a vin cuit, or fortified wine, used in the traditional Provence
Provence
Christmas dessert, the Thirteen desserts, and the Christmas cake called pompo à l'oli, or the olive-oil pump. This production was nearly abandoned, but is now being recreated. The main grapes for red wine are grenache, mourvèdre, and cinsaut; for the white wines clairette. AOC Les Baux de Provence; was established as an AOC for red and rosé wines in 1995.

South of Avignon, it occupies the north and south slopes of the Alpilles, up to an altitude of 400 metres, and extends about thirty kilometres from east to west. The principal grapes for the red wines are the grenache, mourvèdre, and syrah. For the rosés, the main grapes are the syrah and cinsault. Pastis[edit]

A glass of diluted pastis

Men playing pétanque next to the Port St. Louis in Toulon

Cochonnet next to the boule

Pastis
Pastis
is the traditional liqueur of Provence, flavoured with anise and typically containing 40–45% alcohol by volume. When absinthe was banned in France
France
in 1915, the major absinthe producers (then Pernod Fils and Ricard, who have since merged as Pernod Ricard) reformulated their drink without the banned wormwood and with more aniseed flavour, coming from star anise, sugar and a lower alcohol content, creating pastis. It is usually drunk diluted with water, which it turns a cloudy color. It is especially popular in and around Marseille. Pétanque
Pétanque
or boules[edit] Pétanque, a form of boules, is a popular sport played in towns and villages all over Provence. The origins of the game are said to be ancient, going back to the Egyptians, ancient Greeks, and Ancient Romans, who are said to have introduced it to Provence
Provence
first. The sport was very popular during the Middle Ages throughout Europe, known as bowls or lawn bowling in England, and as boules in France. A more athletic version of the sport called jeu provençal was popular throughout Provence
Provence
in the 19th century – this version is featured in the novels and memoires of Marcel Pagnol; players ran three steps before throwing the ball, and it resembled at times a form of ballet. The modern version of the game was created in 1907 at the town of La Ciotat by a former champion of jeu provençal named Jules Hugues, who was unable to play because of his rheumatism. He devised a new set of rules where the field was much smaller, and players did not run before throwing the ball, but remained inside a small circle with their feet together. This gave the game its name, lei peds tancats, in the Provençal dialect of occitan, 'feet together.' The first tournament was played in La Ciotat
La Ciotat
in 1910. The first steel boules were introduced in 1927. The object is to throw a ball (boule) as close as possible to a smaller ball, called the cochonnet, (this kind of throw is called to faire le point or pointer); or to knock away a boules of the opponent that is close to the cochonnet (this is called to tirer). Players compete one-on-one (tête-à-tête), in teams of two (doublettes) or teams of three (triplettes). The object is to accumulate thirteen points. The point belongs to the ball the closest to the cochonnet. A player pitches balls until he can regain the point (reprenne le point) by having his ball closest to the cochonnet. Each ball from a single team, if there are no other balls from the other team closer to the cochonnet, counts as a point. The points are counted when all of the balls have been tossed by both teams.[52] Genetics[edit] A recent genetic study in 2011 analysed 51 southern French individuals from Provence
Provence
and 89 Anatolian Greek subjects whose paternal ancestry derives from Smyrna
Smyrna
(modern-day Izmir
Izmir
in Turkey) and Asia Minor Phokaia
Phokaia
(modern-day Foça
Foça
in Turkey), the ancestral embarkation port to the 6th century BCE ancient Greek colonies of Massalia (Marseilles) and Alalie (Aleria, Corsica). The study found that 17% of the Y-chromosomes
Y-chromosomes
of Provence
Provence
may be attributed to Greek colonisation. The study also concluded that "estimates of colonial Greek vs indigenous Celto-Ligurian demography predict a maximum of a 10% Greek contribution, suggesting a Greek male elite-dominant input into the Iron Age Provence
Provence
population."[53] See also[edit]

Bastide (Provençal manor) French Riviera Rulers of Provence Mas (Provençal farmhouse) Saint Sarah Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer Santon (figurine) Hachmei Provence

Sources and references[edit]

^ See article on Provence
Provence
in the French-language. ^ a b Le Petit Robert, Dictionnaire Universel des Noms Propres (1988). ^ Eduouard Baratier (editor), Histoire de la Provence, Editions Privat, Toulouse, 1990, Introduction. ^ Max Escalon de Fonton, L'Homme avant l'histoire, article in Histoire de la Provence, edited by Edouard Baratier, Editions Privat, Toulouse, 1990. Pg. 14 See also Henry de Lumley, La Grand Histoire des premiers hommes européens, Odile Jacob, Paris, 2010 ^ Max Escalon de Fonton, L'Homme avant l'histoire, pg. 15 ^ "Site of the Exotic Garden of Monaco, and the Museum of Archeology". Jardin-exotique.mc. Retrieved 11 June 2011.  ^ a b c Escalon de Fonton, L'Homme avant l'histoire, pg. 16–17 ^ Aldo Bastié, Histoire de la Provence, Editions Ouest-France, 2001 ^ a b J.R. Palanque, Ligures, Celts
Celts
et Grecs, in Histoire de la Provence. Pg. 33. ^ "Herakles in the West – Frater L". Jwmt.org. Retrieved 18 August 2010.  ^ J. Cited by R. Palanque, Ligures, Celts
Celts
et Grecs, in Histoire de la Provence. Pg. 34. ^ a b c J. R. Palanque, Ligures, Celts
Celts
et Grecs, in Histoire de la Provence. Pg. 34. ^ J. R. Palanque, Ligures, Celts
Celts
et Grecs, in Histoire de la Provence. Pg. 34 ^ J.R. Palanque, Ligures, Celtes et Grecs, in Histoire de la Provence, pg. 39. ^ a b R. Palanque, Ligures, Celtes et Grecs, in Histoire de la Provence, pg. 41. ^ R. Palanque, Ligures, Celtes et Grecs, in Histoire de la Provence, pg. 44. ^ Bastié, Histoire de la Provence, pg. 9 ^ Aldo Bastié, Histoire de la Provence, (pg. 13.) ^ a b Collins, Roger (1989). The Arab
Arab
Conquest of Spain 710–797. Oxford, UK / Cambridge, USA: Blackwell. p. 92. ISBN 0-631-19405-3.  ^ Histoire de la Provence, pg. 16 ^ Bastiė, Histoire de la Provence ^ Noble; et al. (2013). Cengage Advantage Books: Western Civilization: Beyond Boundaries (7 ed.). Cengage Learning. p. 304. ISBN 9781285661537.  ^ Bastiė, Histoire de la Provence, pg. 20. ^ a b Bastié, Histoire de la Provence, (pg. 35) ^ Etienne-Bugnot, Isabelle, Quilting in France: The French Traditions, retrieved 2 May 2010  ^ Mark Jarrett. The Congress of Vienna: War and Great Power Diplomacy after Napoleon
Napoleon
I.B.Tauris, 30 jun. 2013. ISBN 0857735705 p 158 ^ Edward Baratier, Histoire de la Provence, 6–7. ^ See Mediterranean climate. ^ "Précipitations à Marseille" (in French). Infoclimat.fr. Retrieved 18 August 2010.  ^ (in French) Precipitations a Toulon. ^ Météo-France. site ^ (in French) "Infoclimat – Météo en temps réel – observations previsions climatologie forum" (in French). Infoclimat.fr. Retrieved 18 August 2010.  ^ "Infoclimat – Météo en temps réel – observations previsions climatologie forum" (in French). Infoclimat.fr. Retrieved 18 August 2010.  ^ "source: infoclimat.fr précipitations à Orange" (in French). Infoclimat.fr. Retrieved 18 August 2010.  ^ from the article "Provence" in the French-language. ^ Atlantic Brief Lives, A Biographical Companion to the Arts, pg. 204, Atlantic Monthly Press, 1971. ^ "Troika: Russia’s westerly poetry in three orchestral song cycles", Rideau Rouge Records, ASIN: B005USB24A, 2011. ^ Aldo Bastié, Histoire de la Provence, Editions Ouest-France, 2001. ^ Fixot, Michel, and Sauze, Elisabeth, 2004: La cathédrale Saint-Léonce et le groupe épiscopale de Fréjus. Monum, Éditions du patrimoine. ^ The cult of Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene
was very important in medieval Provence; What was believed to be her sarcophagus had been found in a Gallo-Roman
Gallo-Roman
crypt in Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume
Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume
in 1279, and the construction of a large church, the Basilica Sainte Marie-Madeleine, was begun on the spot in 1295. ^ See exhibition "Van Gogh – Monticelli" in Marseille's Centre de la Vieille Charité, Sep 2008 – Jan 2009 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 December 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2011.  ^ *Complete film on YouTube

The Lumiere Institute, Lyon, France

^ "...Onze autres projections en France
France
(Paris, Lyon, La Ciotat, Grenoble) et en Belgique (Bruxelles, Louvain) auront lieu avec un programme de films plus étoffé durant l'année 1895, avant la première commerciale du 28 décembre, remportant à chaque fois le même succès." From the site of the Institut Lumiere in Lyon. see Site of the Institut Lumiere ^ See the Michelin Guide Vert, Côte d'Azur, pg.31 (in French), for this classic version. There are countless others. ^ Olney, Richard (1994). Lulu's Provenc̜al Table : the exuberant food and wine from Domaine Tempier Vineyard. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. pp. 83–85. ISBN 0-06-016922-2.  ^ "Link to the traditional recipe for pissaladiëre(in French)". Nice-cooking.com. Retrieved 18 August 2010.  ^ Ratatouille. Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd edition. ^ Vanel, Lucy (23 April 2006). "Lucy's Kitchen Notebook. L'Ail est Arrivé! – Soupe au Pistou". Kitchen-notebook.blogspot.com. Retrieved 18 August 2010.  ^ Cicero, Book III Chapter 9 of De Republica, quoted in Histore sociale et culturelle du Vin, Gilbert Garrier, Larousse, 1998. ^ Martial, Epigrams X-36, cited by Garrier, op.cit. ^ Hugh Johnson, The World Atlas of Wine, Mitchell Beazley Publishers, 1971 ^ Marco Foyot, Alain Dupuy, Louis Dalmas, Pétanque
Pétanque
– Technique,Tactique, Entrainement Robert Laffont, Paris 1984. This seems to be the definitive book on the subject, co-written by pétanque champion Marco Foyot. ^ Chiaroni, Jacques (2011). The coming of the Greeks to Provence
Provence
and Corsica: Y-chromosome models of archaic Greek colonization of the western Mediterranean. BMC Evolutionary Biology. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-11-69. The process of Greek colonization of the central and western Mediterranean during the Archaic and Classical Eras has been understudied from the perspective of population genetics. To investigate the Y chromosomal demography of Greek colonization in the western Mediterranean, Y-chromosome data consisting of 29 YSNPs and 37 YSTRs were compared from 51 subjects from Provence, 58 subjects from Smyrna
Smyrna
and 31 subjects whose paternal ancestry derives from Asia Minor
Asia Minor
Phokaia, the ancestral embarkation port to the 6th century BCE Greek colonies of Massalia (Marseille) and Alalie (Aleria, Corsica). Results 19% of the Phokaian and 12% of the Smyrnian representatives were derived for haplogroup E-V13, characteristic of the Greek and Balkan mainland, while 4% of the Provençal, 4.6% of East Corsican and 1.6% of West Corsican samples were derived for E-V13. An admixture analysis estimated that 17% of the Y-chromosomes
Y-chromosomes
of Provence
Provence
may be attributed to Greek colonization. Using the following putative Neolithic
Neolithic
Anatolian lineages: J2a-DYS445 = 6, G2a-M406 and J2a1b1-M92, the data predict a 0% Neolithic contribution to Provence
Provence
from Anatolia. Estimates of colonial Greek vs. indigenous Celto-Ligurian demography predict a maximum of a 10% Greek contribution, suggesting a Greek male elite-dominant input into the Iron Age Provence
Provence
population. 

Bibliography[edit]

Edouard Baratier (editor), Histoire de la Provence, Editions Privat, Toulouse, 1990 (ISBN 2-7089-1649-1) Aldo Bastié, Histoire de la Provence, Editions Ouest-France, 2001. Michel Vergé-Franceschi, Toulon
Toulon
– Port Royal (1481–1789). Tallandier: Paris, 2002. Cyrille Roumagnac, L'Arsenal de Toulon
Toulon
et la Royale, Editions Alan Sutton, 2001 Jim Ring, Riviera, The Rise and Fall of the Côte d'Azur, John Murray Publishers, London 2004 Marco Foyot, Alain Dupuy, Louis Dalmas, Pétanque
Pétanque
– Technique, Tactique, Entrainement, Robert Laffont, Paris, 1984. Denizeau, Gerard, Histoire Visuelle des Monuments de France, Larousse, 2003 LeMoine, Bertrand, Guide d'architecture, France, 20e siecle, Picard, Paris 2000 Jean-Louis André, Jean-François Mallet, Jean daniel Sudres, Cuisines des pays de France, Éditions du Chêne, Hachette Livre, Paris 2001 Prosper Mérimée, Notes de voyages, ed. Pierre-Marie Auzas (1971) Martin Garrett, Provence: a Cultural History (2006) James Pope-Hennessy, Aspects of Provence
Provence
(1988) Laura Raison (ed.), The South of France: an Anthology (1985)

External links[edit]

Look up provence in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Provence.

Official Provence
Provence
Alpes Côte d'Azur (PACA) Tourist Board Official Bouches-du- Rhône
Rhône
Tourist Board Official Vaucluse
Vaucluse
Tourist Board Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence
Tourist Office

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