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Draguignan

Trip Planner Europe  /  France  /  Provence  /  Var  /  Draguignan
(4.2/5 based on 260+ reviews for 9 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, sightseeing, museums
Draguignan is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, in southeastern France.It is a sub-prefecture of the department and self-proclaimed "capital of Artillery" and "Porte du Verdon".The city is 42km from St. Tropez, and 80km from Nice.City's nameAccording to legend, the name of the city is derived from the Latin name “Draco/Draconem” : a bishop, called Saint Hermentaire, killed a dragon and saved people.MottoThe Latin motto of Draguignan is Alios nutrio, meos devoro (I feed others, I devour my children).GeographyThe elevation is 200 m. The highest hill near Draguignan is Malmont (551 m). The main river near Draguignan is the Nartuby.The city is set in a valley NW-SE, about 2km wide.History The name of Draguignan appeared for the first time in 909. During the Middle-Ages, Draguignan was a small village whose people lived from olive and grape cultivation. Draguignan became the “prefecture” of the Var in 1790, at the beginning of the French Revolution. This was despite the town by far not being the biggest city in the department. It remained the seat of the prefecture until 1974. In the 19th century and during a large part of the 20th century, the people of Draguignan voted for liberal parties . The town was occupied by the Wehrmacht in 1942-44 and freed in August 1944, after Operation Dragoon. The city welcomed the “Ecole nationale d'artillerie” in 1976, then the “Ecole nationale d'infanterie” in 2010. The arrival of the military involved the development of the city : the small town became a city in the second part of the 20th century : 13 400 citizens in 1954, 33 000 in 2000, 38 000 in 2010. On June 15, 2010, the city was flooded. Torrential rain caused the deaths of 12 people in the town and 25 in the neighborhoods.
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