Avignon Bridge with Popes Palace and Rhone river at sunrise, Pont Saint-Benezet, Provence, France ; Shutterstock ID 362631386; Your name (First / Last): Daniel Fahey; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Best in Europe POIs

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Named after France's most powerful natural spring, which wells up outside Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, the Vaucluse département sits on Provence's west side, sandwiched between the rumpled mountains of the Hautes-Alpes and the rocky Var coastline. Crossed by three great rivers – the Rhône, the Durance and the Sorgue – Vaucluse is renowned for its lavender fields and its vineyards, including the legendary Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The area has been occupied since ancient times, but it was the Romans who left the greatest mark in the form of Orange's ancient theatre and the remains of two Roman towns, Glanum and Vasio Vocontiorum. Centuries later, Avignon became the seat of papal power, and its crenellated ramparts and monumental Palais des Papes provide a glimpse of medieval majesty.


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