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Chateauneuf-du-Pape

(4.3/5 based on 1,000+ reviews for top 20 attractions)
Things to do: wineries, museums, shopping
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France. The village lies about to the east of the Rhône and north of the town of Avignon.A ruined mediaeval castle sits at the top of the village and dominates the landscape to the south. It was built in the 14th century for Pope John XXII, the second of the popes who resided in Avignon. The commune is famous for the production of red wine and almost all the cultivable land is planted with grapevines.ToponymThe first mention of the village is in a Latin document from 1094 that uses the name Castro Novo. The term castrum or castro in the 11th century was used to denote a fortified village, rather than a castle (castellum). The current French name of "Châteauneuf" (English: "New Castle") is derived from this early Latin name and not from the ruined 14th-century castle that towers above the village. Just over a century later in 1213 the village was referred to as Castronovum Calcernarium. Other early documents use Castronovo Caussornerio or Castrum Novum Casanerii. The official French name became Châteauneuf Calcernier. The word 'Calcernier' comes from the presence of important lime kilns in the village. Calcernarium is derived from the Latin calx for lime and cernere means sift or sieve. From the 16th century the village was often referred to as "Châteauneuf du Pape" or "Châteauneuf Calcernier dit de Pape", because of the connection with Pope John XXII, but it was not until 1893 that the official name was changed from "Châteauneuf Calcernier" to "Châteauneuf-du-Pape".
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