Online Encyclopedia

CARPENTRAS

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 386 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CARPENTRAS  , a

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town of south-eastern France; capital of an arrondissement in the department of
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Vaucluse 16 m . N.E. of
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Avignon by
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rail . Pop . (1906) town, 7775; commune, 10,721 . The town stands on the
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left
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bank of the Auzon on an eminence, the
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summit of which is occupied by the church of St Siffrein, formerly a
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cathedral, and the adjoining law-court: 'St Siff
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rein, in its existing state,
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dates from the 15th and 16th centuries and is
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Gothic in style, but it preserves remains of a previous church of Romanesque architecture . The rich sculpture of the
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southern portal and the relics and
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works of
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art in the interior are of some
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interest . The law-court, built in 164o as the bishop's palace, contains in its courtyard a small but well-preserved triumphal arch of the Gallo-
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Roman period . Other important buildings are the hospital, an imposing structure of the 18th century, opposite which is a statue of its founder, Malachie d'Inguimbert, bishop of Carpentras; and the former palace of the papal legate, which dates from 1640 . Of the old fortifications the only survival is the Porte d'Orange, a gateway surmounted by a
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fine machicolated tower . Their site is now occupied by wide boulevards shaded by
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plane-trees .
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Water is brought to the town by an aqueduct of
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forty-eight arches, completed in 1734 . Carpentras is the seat of a sub-prefect and of a court of assizes, and has a tribunal of first instance, communal college for girls and boys, a large library and a museum .

Felt hats, confectionery, preserved fruits and nails are its
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industrial products, and there are
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silk-works, tanneries and dye-works . There is trade in silk, wool, fruit, oil, &c . The irrigation-canal named after the town flows to the east of it (see VAUCLUSE) . Carpentras is identified with Carpentoracte, a town of Gallia Narbonensis mentioned by Pliny, which appears to have been of some importance during the Roman period . Its
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medieval
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history is full of vicissitudes; it was captured and plundered by Vandal, Lombard and Saracen . In later times, as capital of the Comtat Venaissin, it was frequently the residence of the popes of Avignon, to whom that province belonged from 1228 till the Revolution . Carpentras was the seat of a bishopric from the 5th century till 1805 .

End of Article: CARPENTRAS
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