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 River to the west to the Italian border
to the east, and is bordered by the
Mediterranean Sea to the south.
It largely corresponds with the modern administrative région of
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, and includes the départements of Var,
Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and parts of
Alpes-Maritimes and Vaucluse. The largest city of the region is
The Romans made the region into the first Roman province beyond the
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 until 1481, when it became a province of the Kings of
France. While it has been part of
France for more than five hundred
years, it still retains a distinct cultural and linguistic identity,
particularly in the interior of the region.
1 Gallery of Provence
2.1 Prehistoric Provence
Celts in Provence
2.3 Greeks in 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
Counts of Provence
Counts of Provence (9th–13th centuries)
2.8 The Popes in
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
3.3 The Camargue
3.5 The Calanques
4.2 The Var
4.5 The Vaucluse
5 Language and literature
5.1 Scientists, scholars and prophets
5.3 Writers and poets in the
5.4 French authors
5.5 Emigrés, exiles, and expatriates
9 Parks and gardens in Provence
Pétanque or boules
15 See also
16 Sources and references
18 External links
Gallery of Provence
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
Pont Saint-Bénézet at sunset
Provence on Mount Sainte-Victoire
Main article: History of Provence
See also: Lower Burgundy
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
A bronze-age dolmen (2500 to 900 BC) near Draguignan
The coast of
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
Monaco and Menton. 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. Tools dating to the Middle
Paleolithic (300,000 BC) and
Upper Paleolithic (30,000–10,000 BC)
were discovered in the Observatory Cave, in the Jardin Exotique of
Paleolithic period in
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 period, the sea
level in western
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 were regularly inundated by the rising sea or left far from
the sea and swept away by erosion.
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.
The end of the
Paleolithic and beginning of the
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.
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 department. Traces of
these early civilisations can be found in many parts of Provence. A
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.
Celts in Provence
Between the 10th and 4th century BC, the
Ligures were found in
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. Strabo distinctly states they were not of Celtic
origin and a different race from the Gauls. They did not have
their own alphabet, but their language remains in place names in
Provence ending in the suffixes -asc, -osc. -inc, -ates, and -auni.
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." 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 remain today in the dolmens and
other megaliths found in eastern Provence, in the primitive stone
shelters called 'Bories' found in the
Luberon and Comtat, and in the
rock carvings in the Valley of Marvels near
Mont Bégo in the
Alpes-Maritimes, at an altitude of 2,000 meters.
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
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. They worshipped various
aspects of nature, establishing sacred woods at Sainte-Baume and
Gemenos, and healing springs at
Glanum and Vernègues. Later, in the
5th and 4th centuries BC, the different tribes formed confederations;
the Voconces in the area from the
Isère to the Vaucluse; the Cavares
in the Comtat; and the Salyens, from the
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 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.
Greeks in Provence
Remains of the ancient harbour of Massalia, near the Old Port of
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 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 river from
Arles), and to the main river of Provence, the Rhodanos, today known
as the Rhône.
The first permanent Greek settlement was Massalia, established at
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 was destroyed by the
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 of Delphi on a hilltop overlooking the port, and a temple of
the cult of
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 on the Rivers
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
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 (Saint-Remy) and
The most famous citizen of Massalia was the mathematician, astronomer
and navigator 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
Provence (2nd century BC to 5th century AD)
Triumphal Arch of Orange, first century AD
The Roman arena at
Arles (2nd century AD)
The baptistery of
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 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. 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
The Roman general
Gaius Marius crushed the last serious resistance in
102 BC by defeating the
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 and Aix-en-Provence.
In 49 BC, Massalia had the misfortune to choose the wrong side in the
power struggle between
Pompey and Julius Caesar.
Pompey was defeated,
and Massalia lost its territories and political influence. Roman
veterans, in the meantime, populated two new towns,
Arles and Fréjus,
at the sites of older Greek settlements.
In 8 BC the Emperor
Augustus built a triumphal monument at La Turbie
to commemorate the pacification of the region, and he began to
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;
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 to the
Pax Romana in
Provence lasted until the middle of the 3rd century.
Germanic tribes invaded
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
Provence had vanished, and an age of invasions, wars, and
Arrival of Christianity (3rd–6th centuries)
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 as early
as the 3rd and 4th centuries; in
Arles in 254;
Marseille in 314;
Vaison and Apt in 314; Cavaillon, Digne, Embrun, Gap, and
Fréjus at the end of the 4th century;
Aix-en-Provence in 408;
Carpentras, Avignon, Riez,
Cimiez (today part of Nice) and
Antibes in 442;
Toulon in 451;
Senez in 406,
Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux in 517; and
Glandèves in 541. The
oldest Christian structure still surviving in
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
Provence were founded; Lérins, on an island near Cannes; and
Saint-Victor in Marseille.
Germanic invasions, Merovingians and Carolingians (5th–9th
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 (480); then the Ostrogoths; then the Burgundians; finally,
Franks in the 6th century.
Arab invaders and Berber pirates came
from North Africa to the Coast of
Provence in the beginning of the 7th
During the late 7th and early 8th century,
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 stock, who
ruled themselves according to Roman, not Frankish law. Actually, the
region enjoyed a prestige that the northern
Franks hadn't, but the
local aristocracy feared Charles Martel's expansionist ambitions.
Charles Martel headed down the
Rhône Valley after subduing
Burgundy. Charles attacked
Avignon and Arles, garrisoned by the
Umayyads. He came back in 739 to capture for a second time
chase the duke
Maurontus to his stronghold of Marseille. The city
was brought to heel and the duke had to flee to an island. The region
was thereafter under the rule of
Carolingian Kings, descended from
Charles Martel; and then was part of the empire of Charlemagne
In 879, after the death of the
Carolingian ruler Charles the Bald,
Boso of Provence, (also known as Boson), his brother-in-law, broke
away from the
Carolingian kingdom of Louis III and was elected the
first ruler of an independent state of Provence.
Counts of Provence
Counts of Provence (9th–13th centuries)
The Catalan Ramon Berenguer I, Count of Provence, in the Castle in
Fos, painted by
Marià Fortuny (Reial Acadèmia Catalana de Belles
Arts de Sant Jordi, on deposit at the Palace of the Generalitat of
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 from 1112 until
Coat of Arms of the
Counts of Provence
Counts of Provence of the House of Valois-Anjou,
Provence from 1246 until it became part of
France in 1486
Three different dynasties of Counts ruled
Provence during the Middle
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
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 and the Count of Vienne.
Hugh moved the capital of
Provence from Vienne to
Arles and made
Provence a fief of Rudolph II of Burgundy.
In the 9th century,
Arab pirates (called
Saracens by the French) and
Normans invaded Provence. The
Normans pillaged the region and
then left, but the
Saracens built castles and began raiding towns and
holding local residents for ransom. Early in 973, the Saracens
captured Maieul, the
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 (La Garde-Freinet) at the
Battle of Tourtour. The
Saracens who were not killed at the battle
were baptised and made into slaves, and the remaining
Provence fled the region. Meanwhile, the dynastic quarrels continued.
A war between Rudolph III of
Burgundy and his rival, the German
Conrad the Salic
Conrad the Salic in 1032 led to
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 from 1112 until 1131, and his descendants, the Catalan counts
Provence until 1246. In 1125,
Provence was divided; the part
Provence north and west of the
Durance river went to the Count of
Toulouse, while the lands between the
Durance and the Mediterranean,
and from the
Rhône river to the Alps, belonged to the Counts of
Provence. The capital of
Provence was moved from
Aix-en-Provence, and later to Brignoles.
The Church of Saint Trophime in
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 style of the
Rhône Valley with the Lombard style of the Alps.
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.
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 monasteries were built in remote
parts of Provence, far from the political intrigues of the cities.
Sénanque Abbey was the first, established in the
Luberon 1148 and
Le Thoronet Abbey
Le Thoronet Abbey was founded in a remote valley near Draguignan
in 1160. Silvacane Abbey, on the
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
France "the Lion", Alphonse, Count of Poitou, married the
heiress of the Count of Toulouse, Joan. Another,
Louis IX "the Saint"
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
The Popes in
Avignon (14th century)
The façade of the Palais des Papes.
In 1309, Pope Clement V, who was originally from Bordeaux, moved the
Papacy to Avignon. From 1309 until 1377, seven
Popes reigned in
Avignon before the Schism between the Roman and
Avignon churches, which led to the creation of rival popes in both
places. After that three
Antipopes reigned in
Avignon until 1423, when
Papacy finally returned to Rome. Between 1334 and 1363 the old and
new Papal Palaces of
Avignon were built by Popes
Benedict XII and
Clement VI respectively; together the
Palais des Papes
Palais des Papes was the largest
gothic palace in Europe.
The 14th century was a terrible time in Provence, and all of Europe:
the population of
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 to build walls and towers to defend
themselves against armies of former soldiers who ravaged the
The Angevin rulers of
Provence also had a difficult time. An assembly
of nobles, religious leaders, and town leaders of
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
Provence in 1388, and
their attachment to the County of Savoy. From 1388 up to 1526, the
area acquired by the
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
Detail of the Burning Bush triptych by Nicolas Froment, showing René
and his wife Jeanne de Laval
The Chateau of René in
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 in the last ten years of
his life, from 1470 to 1480, and his political policies of territorial
expansion were costly and unsuccessful.
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 at Tarascon, on the
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 was legally incorporated into the French
royal domain in 1486.
1486 to 1789
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
the destruction of the villages of Lourmarin, Mérindol, Cabriéres in
the Luberon, because their inhabitants were Vaudois, of Italian
Piedmontese origin, and were not considered sufficiently orthodox
Catholics. Most of
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 until 1673. An army of the Catholic League laid siege to the
Protestant city of Mėnerbes in the
Vaucluse between 1573 and 1578.
The wars did not stop until the end of the 16th century, with the
consolidation of power in
Provence by the
House of Bourbon
House of Bourbon kings.
Toulon Harbour around 1750, by Joseph Vernet.
The semi-independent Parliament of
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 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 began to
build a naval arsenal and dockyard at
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 to strengthen the
fortifications around the city.
At the beginning of the 17th century,
Provence had a population of
about 450,000 people. 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. There was
considerable commerce along the coast, and up and down the Rhône
river. The cities: Marseille, Toulon,
Avignon and Aix-en-Provence, saw
the construction of boulevards and richly decorated private houses.
Marseille in 1754, by Vernet
At the beginning of the 18th century,
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,
Tarascon; and faience pottery in Marseille, Apt, Aubagne, and
Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. Many immigrants arrived from
Liguria and the
Piedmont in Italy. By the end of the 18th century,
Marseille had a
population of 120,000 people, making it the third largest city in
During the French Revolution
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 into a constitutional monarchy like
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 to power.
La Marseillaise 1792
Provence also produced the most memorable song of the period, the La
Marseillaise. Though the song was originally written by a citizen of
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 by a
young volunteer from
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 as it was in
other parts of France. On 30 April 1790, Fort Saint-Nicolas in
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 in May
1793, a real counter-revolution broke out in Avignon,
Toulon. A revolutionary army under General Carteaux recaptured
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
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 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
Napoleon to power in 1795.
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 was defeated, his fall was
celebrated in Provence. When he escaped from
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.
Marseille in 1825
Provence enjoyed prosperity in the 19th century; the ports of
Provence with the expanding French
Empire in North Africa and the Orient, especially after the opening of
Suez Canal in 1869.
In April–July 1859,
Napoleon III made a secret agreement with
Cavour, Prime Minister of Piedmont, for
France to assist in expelling
Austria from the
Italian Peninsula and bringing about a united Italy,
in exchange for
Savoy and the
Nice region to France.
He went to war with Austria in 1859 and won a victory at Solferino,
which resulted in Austria ceding
Lombardy to France. France
Lombardy to Piedmont, and, in return, Napoleon
Nice in 1860, and
Roquebrune-Cap-Martin and Menton
The railroad connected Paris with
Marseille (1848) and then with
Nice (1864). Nice,
Hyères became popular
winter resorts for European royalty, including Queen Victoria. Under
Marseille grew to a population of 250,000, including a
very large Italian community.
Toulon had a population of 80,000. The
large cities like
Toulon saw the building of churches,
opera houses, grand boulevards, and parks.
After the fall of Louis
Napoleon following the defeat in the
Franco-Prussian War barricades went up in the streets of
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.
Provence was generally conservative, it often elected reformist
leaders; Prime Minister
Léon Gambetta was the son of a Marseille
grocer, and future prime minister
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.
Between World War I and World War II,
Provence was bitterly divided
between the more conservative rural areas and the more radical big
cities. There were widespread strikes in
Marseille in 1919, and riots
Toulon in 1935.
After the defeat of
France by Germany in June 1940,
France was divided
into an occupied zone and unoccupied zone, with
Provence in the
unoccupied zone. Parts of eastern
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 resistance movement, was parachuted into
Eygalières, in the Bouches-du-
Rhône on 2 January 1942 to unite the
diverse resistance movements in all of
France against the Germans.
In November 1942, following Allied landings in North Africa (Operation
Torch), the Germans occupied all of
Provence (Operation Attila) and
then headed for
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
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
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 corps under General Jean de Lattre
de Tassigny, landed on the coast of the Var between St. Raphael and
Cavalaire (Operation Dragoon). The American forces moved north toward
Sisteron and Gap, while the French First Armored Division
under General Vigier liberated Brignoles, Salon, Arles, and Avignon.
The Germans in
Toulon resisted until 27 August, and
Marseille was not
liberated until 25 August.
After the end of the War,
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 of Corbusier, was built in
Marseille in 1947–52. In 1962,
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
Marseille and Toulon.
In the 1940s,
Provence underwent a cultural renewal, with the founding
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
which opened in 1970,
Provence became destination for mass tourism
from all over Europe. Many Europeans, particularly from Britain,
bought summer houses in Provence. The arrival of the
trains shortened the trip from Paris to
Marseille to less than four
At the end of the 20th century, and the beginning of the 21st century,
the residents of
Provence were struggling to reconcile economic
development and population growth with their desire to preserve the
landscape and culture that make
Extent and geography
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 to the
Pyrenees and north to the Vaucluse,
with its capital in Narbo Martius (present-day Narbonne).
In the 15th century the Conté of
Provence was bounded by the Var
river on the east, the
Rhône river to the west, with the
Mediterranean to the south, and a northern border that roughly
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 along the Italian border, including
Nice and the lower Alps, was detached from
Provence and attached to
the lands of the Duke of Savoy. The lower
Alps were re-attached to
France after the
Treaty of Utrecht
Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, but
Nice did not return to
France until 1860, during the reign of
The administrative region of
Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur was created in
1982. It included Provence, plus the territory of the
around Avignon, the eastern portion of the Dauphiné, and the former
county of Nice.
Rhône at Avignon
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 and the Mediterranean for
centuries. It rises as the effluent of the
Rhône Glacier in Valais,
Switzerland, in the Saint-Gotthard massif, at an altitude of 1753 m.
It is joined by the river
Saône at Lyon. Along the
Rhône Valley, it
is joined on the right bank by
Cévennes rivers Eyrieux, Ardèche,
Gardon or Gard, on the left
Alps bank by rivers Isère,
Ouvèze and Durance. At Arles, the
Rhône divides itself in
two arms, forming the
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.
Durance river, a tributary of the Rhône, has its source in the
Alps near Briançon. It flows south-west through Embrun, Sisteron,
Manosque, Cavaillon, and Avignon, where it meets the Rhône.
Verdon River is a tributary of the Durance, rising at an altitude
of 2,400 metres in the southwestern
Alps near Barcelonette, and
flowing southwest for 175 kilometres through the
Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Var (départements) before it reaches the
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 of Verdon', 20 kilometres in length and
more than 300 metres deep, is a popular climbing and sight-seeing
Var River rises near the Col de la Cayolle (2,326 m/7,631 ft)
in the Maritime
Alps and flows generally southeast for 120 kilometres
(75 mi) into the Mediterranean between
Nice was returned to
France in 1860, the
Var marked the eastern border of
France along the Mediterranean. The
Var is the unique case in
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).
With an area of over 930 km2 (360 mi2), the
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
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
Vallon de Mollières, Mercantour National Park.
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 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
Barre des Écrins
Barre des Écrins culminating at 4102m.
Mont Ventoux from Mirabel-aux-Baronnies.
Outside of the Maritime Alps,
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 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).
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 stand out since they rise abruptly from
the plain of the
Rhône valley. The range is about 25 km long by
about 8 to 10 km wide, running in an east–west direction
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 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
Rhône and Var. Its highest point is the Pic des mouches at
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
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 and Berbers from North Africa, who
settled on the coast of
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 and Nice. On the south it
ends abruptly at the Mediterranean, forming a broken and abrupt
The peninsula of
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.
Calanque de Sugiton
The Calanques, also known as the Massif des Calanques, are a dramatic
feature of the
Provence coast, a 20-km long series of narrow inlets in
the cliffs of the coastline between
Marseille on the west and Cassis
on the east. The highest peak in the massif is Mont Puget, 565 metres
The best known calanques of the Massif des
Calanques include the
Calanque de Sormiou, the
Calanque de Morgiou, the
Calanque de Port-Pin and the
Calanque de Sugiton.
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
Cosquer cave is an underwater grotto in the
Calanque de Morgiou,
37 metres (121 ft) underwater, that was inhabited during
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,
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
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.
Mistral wind blowing near Marseille. In the center is the Château
Sisteron – la Baume rock
Provence has a Mediterranean climate, characterised by hot,
dry summers, mild winters, little snow, and abundant sunshine. Within
Provence there are micro-climates and local variations, ranging from
Alpine climate inland from
Nice to the continental climate in the
northern Vaucluse. The winds of
Provence are an important feature of
the climate, particularly the mistral, a cold, dry wind which,
especially in the winter, blows down the
Rhône Valley to the
Rhône and the Var Departments, and often reaches over one
hundred kilometres an hour.
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 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.
Toulon and the Department of the Var (which includes
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, 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 further east. The strongest Mistral wind recorded in Toulon
was 130 kilometres an hour.
Nice and the
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
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
Menton received 30
to 40 centimetres of snow. In the mountains, the snow is present from
November to May
Nice has an annual average of 2694 hours of sunshine. The average
maximum daily temperature in
Nice in August is 28 °C., and the
average minimum daily temperature in January is 6 °C.
The Department of
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.
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 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.
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.
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
Provence in Saint-Michel-Observatoire near of Forcalquier.
Vaucluse is the meeting point of three of the four different
climatic zones of France; it has a
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 usually
Orange in the
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.
Language and literature
Scientists, scholars and prophets
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 (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 and Carpentras
as an official at the Papal court in Avignon, and wrote a famous
account of his ascent of
Mount Ventoux near Aix-en-Provence.
Nostradamus (1503–1566), a
Renaissance apothecary and reputed
clairvoyant best known for his alleged prophecies of great world
events, was born in
Saint-Remy-de-Provence and lived and died in
Occitan language and
Raimbaut de Vaqueiras, from a collection of troubadour songs, BNF
Richelieu Manuscrits Français 854, Bibliothèque Nationale
Historically the language spoken in
Provence was Provençal, a dialect
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
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.
Provençal was widely spoken in
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
"Folquet de Marselha" in a 13th-century chansonnier. Depicted in his
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 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 in his
Divine Comedy. In his later years, Folquet gave up poetry to become
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
Provençal writers and poets who wrote in
Raimbaut de Vaqueiras (1180–1207)
Louis Bellaud (1543–1588)
Théodore Aubanel (1829–1886)
Joseph d'Arbaud (1874–1950)
Robert Lafont (1923–2009)
Alphonse Daudet (1840–1897) was the best-known French writer from
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
(1872, 1885, 1890). His story L'Arlésienne (1872) was made into a
three-act play with music by Bizet.
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 in
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
Paul Arène (1843–1896), born in Sisteron, wrote about life and the
countryside around his home town.
Emigrés, exiles, and expatriates
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 (1862–1937), bought
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 and Monte Carlo,
eventually staying at St. Raphaël, where he wrote much of The Great
Gatsby and began Tender is the Night.
Ivan Bunin (1870–1953), the first Russian writer to win the Nobel
Prize for Literature, went to
France after the Russian Revolution, set
several of his short stories on the Côte d'Azur, and had a house in
Somerset Maugham (1874–1965) bought a house, the Villa Mauresque, in
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
Charles Spurgeon (who spent long periods in Menton)
Music written about
The saxophone concerto Tableaux de
Provence (Pictures of Provence)
composed by Paule Maurice.
The opera Mireille by
Charles Gounod after Frédéric Mistral's poem
Georges Bizet, 'L'Arlésienne' incidental music to play by Alphonse
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.
The piece "Suite Provencale", written for symphonic band by Jan Van
The 14th-century ceiling of the cloister of
Fréjus Cathedral is
decorated with paintings of animals, people and mythical creatures
Triptych of the Burning Bush, by Nicolas Froment, in Aix Cathedral
Artists have been painting in
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 near Marseille.
The 14th-century wooden ceiling of the cloister of
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.
Nicolas Froment (1435–1486) was the most important painter of
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 on one side,
and Queen Jeanne de Laval, with Saint Catherine, John the Evangelist,
Saint Nicholas on the other.
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 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
Adolphe Monticelli (1824–1886) was born in Marseille, moved to Paris
in 1846 and returned to
Marseille in 1870. His work influenced Vincent
van Gogh who greatly admired him.
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 from February 1888 to May 1889, and
then in Saint-Remy from May 1889 until May 1890.
Auguste Renoir (1841–1919) visited Beaulieu, Grasse, Saint Raphael
and Cannes, before finally settling in
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 (1869–1954) first visited
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 (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 (1867–1947) retired to and died at Le Cannet.
Georges Braque (1882–1963) painted frequently at
1907 and 1910.
Henri-Edmond Cross (1856–1910) discovered the Côte d'Azur in 1883
and painted at
Monaco and Hyères.
Maurice Denis (1870–1943) painted at
St. Tropez and Bandol.
André Derain (1880–1954) painted at
L'Estaque and Martigues.
Raoul Dufy (1877–1953), whose wife was from Nice, painted in
Marseille and Martigues.
Albert Marquet (1873–1947) painted at Marseille,
St. Tropez and
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 (1863–1944) visited and painted in
Nice and Monte-Carlo
(where he developed a passion for gambling), and rented a villa at
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat in 1891.
Paul Signac (1863–1935) visited
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 in
La Valette-du-Var from
1925 until his death in 1993.
Nicolas de Staël (1914–1955) lived in
Nice and Antibes.
Yves Klein (1928–1962), a native of Nice, is considered an important
figure in post-war European art.
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
Réunion des musées nationaux, 2000.
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
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.
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.
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 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
A modern day British film, "A Good Year", shows off the true beauty of
Provence and its vineyards.
Parks and gardens in Provence
Main article: Gardens of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
An Aïoli made of garlic, salt, egg yolk and olive oil
Bouillabaisse from Marseille, soup and fish served
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
A bowl of ratatouille with bread
Nice also known as La Cade in Toulon
Calissons from Aix
The cuisine of
Provence is the result of the warm, dry Mediterranean
climate; the rugged landscape, good for grazing sheep and goats but,
outside of the
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 are the rouget, a small
red fish usually eaten grilled, and the loup, (known elsewhere in
France as the bar), often grilled with fennel over the wood of
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 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.
Marseille the fish and the broth are served separately – the
broth is served over thick slices of bread with rouille (see
Brandade de Morue is a thick purée of salt cod, olive oil, milk, and
garlic, usually spread on toast.
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 area of France, bulls killed in the bullfighting festivals
are sometimes used for daube.
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
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.
Ratatouille is a traditional dish of stewed vegetables, which
originated in Nice.
Rouille is a mayonnaise with red pimentos, often spread onto bread and
added to fish soups.
Socca is a speciality of
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.
Tapenade is a relish consisting of pureed or finely chopped olives,
capers, and olive oil, usually spread onto bread and served as an hors
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 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 is a tart of pastry cream (crème pâtissière)
invented by a
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 suggested he name the cake La Tropézienne. It is now
found in bakeries throughout the Var.
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
Herbes de Provence
Herbes de Provence (or Provençal herbs) are a mixture of dried herbs
Provence which are commonly used in Provençal cooking. And wine.
The wines of
Provence were probably introduced into
600 BC by the Greek
Phoceans who founded
Marseille and Nice. After the
Roman occupation, in 120 BC the
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
Roman Legions settled in
Provence and were allowed to grow
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 as "terrible poisons, and never sold
at a good price."
Wine estate near Vaison-la-Romaine
As recently as the 1970s the wines of
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, "
Bandol distinguish themselves for their white and red wines
Cassis (no relation of the blackcurrant syrup) is
livelier than the run of Provençal white wine, and
Bandol leads the
red in much the same way."
Since that time, cultivation of poorer varieties has been reduced and
new technologies and methods have improved the quality considerably.
The wines of
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 are rosés. The
most characteristic grape is mourvèdre, used most famously in the red
wines of Bandol.
Cassis is the only area in
Provence known for its
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 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 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 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 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 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
In addition, there are five local classifications: (Les appellations
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 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
Marseille, was the first wine in
Provence to be classified as an AOC
in 1936, and is best known for its white wines. Wines from
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 wines use the
grenache, carignan, and mourvèdre.
AOC Bellet; at the time of the French Revolution, the little town of
Saint Roman de
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
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.
A glass of diluted pastis
Men playing pétanque next to the Port St. Louis in Toulon
Cochonnet next to the boule
Pastis is the traditional liqueur of Provence, flavoured with anise
and typically containing 40–45% alcohol by volume. When absinthe was
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 or boules
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 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
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 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.
A recent genetic study in 2011 analysed 51 southern French individuals
Provence and 89 Anatolian Greek subjects whose paternal ancestry
Izmir in Turkey) and Asia Minor
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
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
Bastide (Provençal manor)
Rulers of Provence
Mas (Provençal farmhouse)
Sources and references
^ See article on
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 et Grecs, in Histoire de la
Provence. Pg. 33.
^ "Herakles in the West – Frater L". Jwmt.org. Retrieved 18 August
^ J. Cited by R. Palanque, Ligures,
Celts et Grecs, in Histoire de la
Provence. Pg. 34.
^ a b c J. R. Palanque, Ligures,
Celts et Grecs, in Histoire de la
Provence. Pg. 34.
^ J. R. Palanque, Ligures,
Celts et Grecs, in Histoire de la Provence.
^ J.R. Palanque, Ligures, Celtes et Grecs, in Histoire de la Provence,
^ 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,
^ Bastié, Histoire de la Provence, pg. 9
^ Aldo Bastié, Histoire de la Provence, (pg. 13.)
^ a b Collins, Roger (1989). The
Arab Conquest of Spain 710–797.
Oxford, UK / Cambridge, USA: Blackwell. p. 92.
^ 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.
^ 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
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
^ "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
^ The cult of
Mary Magdalene was very important in medieval Provence;
What was believed to be her sarcophagus had been found in a
Gallo-Roman crypt in
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 (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,
^ Marco Foyot, Alain Dupuy, Louis Dalmas,
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
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 and 31 subjects whose paternal
ancestry derives from
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
Provence may be attributed to Greek colonization.
Using the following putative
Neolithic Anatolian lineages: J2a-DYS445
= 6, G2a-M406 and J2a1b1-M92, the data predict a 0% Neolithic
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
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.
Toulon – Port Royal (1481–1789).
Tallandier: Paris, 2002.
Cyrille Roumagnac, L'Arsenal de
Toulon et la Royale, Editions Alan
Jim Ring, Riviera, The Rise and Fall of the Côte d'Azur, John Murray
Publishers, London 2004
Marco Foyot, Alain Dupuy, Louis Dalmas,
Pétanque – Technique,
Tactique, Entrainement, Robert Laffont, Paris, 1984.
Denizeau, Gerard, Histoire Visuelle des Monuments de France, Larousse,
LeMoine, Bertrand, Guide d'architecture, France, 20e siecle, Picard,
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
Laura Raison (ed.), The South of France: an Anthology (1985)
Look up provence in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Provence.
Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur (PACA) Tourist Board
Rhône Tourist Board
Vaucluse Tourist Board
Aix-en-Provence Tourist Office
Administrative regions of France
Current administrative regions (since 2016)
Centre-Val de Loire
Pays de la Loire
Former administrative regions (1982–2015)
Centre-Val de Loire
Pays de la Loire
Historical provinces of France
Flanders and Hainaut
Coordinates: 43°30′N 5°30′E / 43.50°N 5.50°E /