A Brief History of Carpentras
Historically, Carpentras with its surrounding villages has supported vineyards for 2,000 years. It was an important market town and agricultural trading center for the local Celtic-Ligurian tribes long before the Romans arrived. A Roman colony under Julius Caesar, it was caught up in the warfare and turbulence that tore across much of Provence in the Dark and Early Middle Ages. Given to the Papal States in the 13th century, it offered refuge to Jews being expelled at that time from the rest of France and from as far afield as England. It did not become part of France until after the French Revolution.
Today, this small, provincial market town retains several fine examples of 18th-century Italianate Baroque architecture. It is well-located for hikers or cyclists on Mont Ventoux and Les Dentelles de Montmirail who want a base with a reasonable selection of restaurants and shops as well as a big market.
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