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Fontaine de Vaucluse

Fontaine-de-Vaucluse is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.HeraldryThe coat of arms of the village of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse is:"Blue, with a Trout and a Grayling, poised horizontally." (Malte-Brun, in France Illustrated, book V, 1884)GeographyFontaine-de-Vaucluse is built around a spring in a valley at the foot of the Vaucluse Mountains, between Saumane and Lagnes, not far from L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. It is named after the spring, the source of the River Sorgue.HydrographyThe fountain, or spring, of Vaucluse, situated at the feet of a steep cliff 230 metres high, is the biggest spring in France. It is also the fifth largest in the world with an annual flow of 630 million cubic metres.The fountain of Vaucluse surges in March for about 5 weeks and then subsides. The increased flow of water swells the Sorgue to flood. The mechanism behind the surging remains somewhat of a mystery.HistoryThis village of 600 inhabitants was once called Vaucluse or the closed valley and it gave its name to the French department of Vaucluse. Several trails indicate human occupation in the area since the neolithic era. Its spring has been the object of a major cult since Antiquity, and the Sorgue was used as a trade route by the Phoenicians of Massalia and later the Romans. Following some major discoveries from two cave dives by the SSFV, two archaeological sites under the protection of the SRA PACA has allowed more than 1600 antique coins from the first century BC to the 5th century AD to be brought back up to the surface.
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