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Vaison-la-Romaine

Trip Planner Europe  /  France  /  Provence  /  Vaucluse  /  Vaison-la-Romaine
(4.6/5 based on 2,000+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: trails, sightseeing, historic sites
Vaison-la-Romaine is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.The historic section is in two parts, the Colline du Château on a height on one side of the Ouvèze, the "upper city" and on the opposite bank, the "lower city" centered on the Colline de la Villasse.HistoryThe area was inhabited in the Bronze Age. At the end of the fourth century BCE, the upper city of Vaison became the capital of a Celtic tribe, the Vocontii or Voconces. After the Roman conquest (125-118 BCE) the Vocontii retained a certain degree of autonomy; they had two capitals, Luc-en-Diois (in modern Drôme département), apparently the religious center, and Vaison. Their continued authority in the gradual Romanization of the Celtic oppidum meant that the city plan incurred no disruptive re-founding along rigid Roman orthography. The city's modern archaeologist Christian Goudineau has suggested that early examples were set by Vocontian aristocrats who moved down from the oppidum and established villas along the river, around which the Gallo-Roman city accreted. In the Roman period it became one of the richest cities of Gallia Narbonensis, with numerous geometric mosaic pavements a fine small theatre on a rocky hillslope, probably built during the reign of Tiberius, whose statue was found in a prominent place on its site. The Polyclitan Vaison Diadumenos (now in the British Museum) was discovered in the theatre in the nineteenth century. At Vasio Pompeius Trogus, the Augustan historian, was born.
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