Vaucluse

Vaucluse (French: [voklyz]; Provençal: Vauclusa (Classical norm) or Vau-Cluso (Mistralian norm)) is a department in the southeastern French region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. It had a population of 561,469 as of 2019.[2] The department's prefecture is Avignon.

Vaucluse
Vauclusa (Occitan)
From top down, left to right: prefecture building and Palais des Papes in Avignon, Gordes (considered one of the most beautiful villages of France), Sénanque Abbey, Sorgue River and Nesque River
Location of Vaucluse in France
Coordinates: 44°00′N 05°10′E
CountryFrance
RegionProvence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
PrefectureAvignon
SubprefecturesApt
Carpentras
Government
  President of the Departmental CouncilDominique Santoni (LR)
Area
  Total3,567 km2 (1,377 sq mi)
Population
 (Jan. 2019)[1]
  Total561,469
  Rank47th
  Density160/km2 (410/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number84
Arrondissements3
Cantons17
Communes151
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries and lakes, ponds and glaciers larger than 1 km2

It is named after a spring, the Fontaine de Vaucluse, one of the largest karst springs in the world. The name Vaucluse itself derives from the Latin Vallis Clausa ("closed valley") as the valley ends in a cliff face from which the spring emanates.

History

Vaucluse was created on 12 August 1793 out of parts of the departments of Bouches-du-Rhône, Drôme and Basses-Alpes, later renamed Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. The then rural department was, like the nearby city of Lyon, a hotbed of the French Resistance in World War II.

Geography

The Fontaine de Vaucluse is the source of the Sorgue. It is characterised by an upward movement of water from the depth of over 315 metres (1,033 ft).

Vaucluse is bordered by the Rhône to the west and the Durance to the south. Mountains occupy a significant proportion of the eastern half of the department, with Mont Ventoux (1,912 m), also known as "the Giant of Provence", dominating the landscape. Other important mountain ranges include the Dentelles de Montmirail, the Monts de Vaucluse and the Luberon.

Fruit and vegetables are cultivated in great quantities in the lower-lying parts of the department, on one of the most fertile plains in Southern France. The Vaucluse department has a rather large exclave within the Drôme department, the canton of Valréas (Enclave des Papes).

Vaucluse is also known for its karst, including the karst spring Fontaine de Vaucluse after which "Vauclusian Risings" are named.

Principal towns

The most populous commune is Avignon, the prefecture. As of 2019, there are 6 communes with more than 20,000 inhabitants:[2]

Commune Population (2019)
Avignon 91,143
Carpentras 29,236
Orange 28,772
Cavaillon 26,236
Pertuis 20,557
L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue 20,042

Demographics

Population development since 1801:

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1801191,421    
1806205,833+1.46%
1821224,431+0.58%
1831239,113+0.64%
1841251,080+0.49%
1851264,618+0.53%
1861268,255+0.14%
1872263,451−0.16%
1881244,149−0.84%
1891235,411−0.36%
1901236,949+0.07%
1911238,656+0.07%
1921219,602−0.83%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1931241,689+0.96%
1936245,508+0.31%
1946249,838+0.17%
1954268,318+0.90%
1962303,536+1.55%
1968353,966+2.59%
1975390,446+1.41%
1982427,343+1.30%
1990467,075+1.12%
1999499,685+0.75%
2006534,291+0.96%
2011546,630+0.46%
2016559,014+0.45%
Sources:[3][4]

Politics

Departmental Council

Departmental Council of Vaucluse
Composition since the 2021 election

Following the 2021 departmental election, Dominique Santoni of The Republicans was elected President of the Departmental Council. She succeeded Maurice Chabert, who had held the office since 2015.

The Departmental Council of Vaucluse has 34 seats. The Left Front (FG) currently has 2 seats, the Socialist Party (PS) has 7, Europe Ecology – The Greens (EELV) has 3, the miscellaneous right (DVD) has 2, The Republicans (LR) have 10, the National Rally has 6 and a local party, the Ligue du Sud (LS), has 4.

Members of the National Assembly

During the 2017 legislative election, Vaucluse elected the following representatives to the National Assembly:[5]

ConstituencyMemberParty
Vaucluse's 1st constituency Jean-François Cesarini La République En Marche!
Vaucluse's 2nd constituency Jean-Claude Bouchet The Republicans
Vaucluse's 3rd constituency Brune Poirson La République En Marche!
Vaucluse's 4th constituency Jacques Bompard League of the South
Vaucluse's 5th constituency Julien Aubert The Republicans

*On 21 July 2017, Brune Poirson resigned from office to join the Second Philippe government as Secretary of State to the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition. She was replaced in the National Assembly by Adrien Morenas.

**Jacques Bompard resigned in August 2017 to become Mayor of Orange. He was replaced by Marie-France Lorho.

Tourism

See also

References

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