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Carpentras

Carpentras dates at least to Roman times.

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Medieval tower.

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Its 14th Century synagogue is the oldest in France that is still used for services.

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Capital of the Comtat Venaissan, Carpentras was controlled by the Avignon papacy, and was home to some of the Avignon popes. The Cathédrale Saint-Siffrein de Carpentras was built in the 15th and 16th Centuries, after the papacy had returned to Rome.

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A modern alley.

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Chateauneuf-du-Pape

This small ruin is all that remains of the vast palace built by Pope John XXII, in the early 14th Century.

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The tiny medieval town is just below the ruin, and sells the region's famous wines.

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The palace was destroyed during the 16th Century Wars of Religion.

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The 14th Century Avignon popes did much to spread the renown of the local wines.

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Les Baux-de-Provence

Les Baux is another medieval village, dramatically situated on a rocky hilltop.

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On a plateau at the top of the hill is the 10th Century fortified Château des Baux. Its powerful feudal lords once ruled a wide region of Provence, and held a lavish court, but they were deposed in the 12th Century. The chateau reached its zenith under the rule of 15th Century barons. A center of Protestant revolt, it was demolished in 1633, by order of Cardinal Richelieu. It is now controlled by the Grimaldi family, rulers of Monaco.

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The view from the top of the ruins.

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Originally posted to Laurence Lewis on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 10:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by History for Kossacks, Pink Clubhouse, and Shutterbugs.

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