City of Art and History, Carpentras has preserved much evidence of the past. The former capital of the region known by its historic name Comtat Venaissin has an interesting old town that is home to Saint-Siffrein cathedral, the oldest synagogue in France (built in 1367), Hôtel-Dieu hospice and apothecary and Orange gateway, the town's last medieval remains.
The town's specialities are strawberries and berlingots, colourful peppermint-flavour boiled sweets.
At the crossroads between the Rhône and Durance, dominated by the Mont Ventoux, Carpentras fits sheltered from the mistral in the rich and fertile plain of Comtat Venaissin, a landscape of Italian country where manners are dotted with beautiful villages that are warming the midday sun. The privileged location near major highways, making it an ideal base for its quality of life, a land and ancestral know -how, exceptional environment in the heart of unspoilt nature and rich heritage left by the presence popes during five centuries.
" A Carpentras, quiet city and plays the mistral farandole
His tunes Comtadine dances under the plane trees
Watching the Mont Ventoux... " Pierre Vaussais - Fall 80
Things to see and do
Carpentras offering to the visitors, facets as colorful as the facades of its old center. Heir to the Gallic city of Memini, the dual character of Acropolis and market the city became the Middle Ages, the capital of the Venaissin County. It owes its originality to its membership the Holy See from the thirteenth to the eighteenth century. Its architecture is inspired by Italian models and the presence of Jews protected Popes, brand culture.
In the streets and squares, its rich heritage unfolds the stroller.
Hotel-Dieu: Under construction. Reopening normally end 2016. Ask at the Tourist Office.
No one can fail to penetrate the city to the south, the Hotel-Dieu, the work of Bishop of Inguimbert, Bishop of Carpentras in 1735. The building erected between 1750 and 1761 under the direction of German architect Antoine offers a majestic architecture hospital with a long sober facade overlooking the west and topped with fire pots, protecting a huge palace that houses a dispensary retained in the state, a Baroque chapel with decorations of polychrome marble, the large gallery served by a staircase, which is decorated with 281 donatifs dating from the eighteenth to the twentieth century paintings to extend the memory of the generous donors who bequeathed their fortune to the Hotel-Dieu.
The visit permeates you to the daily life of a Hotel-Dieu of the eighteenth century with his pharmacy at the forefront of medical theories of the Enlightenment.
The Cathedral St. Siffrein: Closed on Mondays.
Cathedral Saint Siffrein, named after the patron bishop of the city (seventh century) is a fine example of Southern Gothic architecture is characterized by a unified space and high muralité. It is the largest church in the Diocese: 58 meters long with 42 for the nave of six bays warheads. Its construction lasted more than a century (1405-1531), successor to two earlier buildings, including a Romanesque cathedral of the thirteenth century, the surviving remnants on the north side of the apse.
The interior decoration is indicative of the great artistic movement aroused by the papal presence in the Comtat Venaissin until the Revolution. Painted panel of the Coronation of the Virgin, of the fifteenth century stained glass, altarpieces genoa precious marble, gilded wood carvings of Bernus family, Thousand exceptional ironwork, paintings signed GE Greve, N. Mignard, E. Parrocel and JS Duplessis Carpentras... they allow themselves to look in the shadow of the chapels.
In alignment of the Cathedral Saint Siffrein, stands on the square of the "Palace" renamed General De Gaulle, former episcopal palace now since 1801, the Palace of Justice.
The building was built in the seventeenth century, at the request of Monsignor Bichi, in the "Roman taste" - protruding balconies, pilasters bosses... The facade illustrates perfectly the style of the great Italian palaces.
As part of the guided tours of programming: A look inside: the old ceremonial room of the bishops with a French ceiling, the room of Assisi, once venue for States and Venaissin County from the room the Correctional with cartridges representative villages former Comtat.
The Roman arch:
Before entering the synagogue, a decision is needed on another site, instead of Inguimbert. In its recess, leaning against the north side of the church Saint Siffrein, is the only remnant of the Roman period, the Roman arch.
The city Comtadin, before falling due to the popes, passed successively into the hands of the Celts - as the Carpentoracte Meminorum and Romans - Forum Neronis. From those distant times, remains a building of the first century AD, built to commemorate Rome's victory over the barbarians. Pierced by a single arch, it offers a magnificent carved detail: two captives chained to a trophy.
The synagogue, built in 1367 and remodeled in the eighteenth century by architect Antoine D'German, is the oldest in France, still active. It reflects the presence of Jewish communities who, persecuted in the Kingdom of France, put themselves under papal protection and settled in Venaissin County from the thirteenth century.
From Career installed in 1461 in the heart of the city by the Consuls and soon abandoned the annexation of the Comtat to France, remains a place of worship imbued with emotion and still in activity reflects the Judeo-Provencal past and present civilization.
The facade deliberately discreet date of 1909, the hall of worship offers a baroque setting of the eighteenth century, with columns and faux marble decor, while the ground floor houses the oldest parts: ritual baths, 2 bakeries - one reserved for daily bread, the other in the making of unleavened bread, unleavened - and a room dedicated to Jerusalem in prayer chamber. Ask at the tourist office for opening hours and entrance fee.
Access to the north of the city by one gate, the last vestige of the fourteenth century ramparts.
The door of Orange, a set that included 32 defensive towers and round semi round. The tower, which rises to 26 m, keeps pace with its aliasing proud of corbelled battlements. One of the most admired buildings of the city, saved in extremis from destruction at major sites of urbanization led to the nineteenth century.
In good weather, the view at the top is magnificent: to the north, the view embraces the agricultural plain with Dentelles de Montmirail and Mont Ventoux in the background, south look plunges on the sun roofs and steeples Carpentras illuminating the narrow alleys of the old center.
The municipal collections of paintings from the source, the research firm Bishop of Inguimbert, Carpentras bishop from 1735 to 1757. They offer a real interest both in terms of the history of art as in terms of the history of taste and collectors. From this set emerged a few highlights: Provençal primitive of the Cathedral Saint Siffrein, paintings by JS Duplessis, paintings of foreign schools, including those set of portraits from Dom Malachi of Inguimbert finally tables of the second half of the eighteenth century nineteenth century and make it possible to look, painting and regional currents J. Parisian Vernet, J. Bideauld, Bonnaventure, J. Laurens...
The ground floor houses the museum of arts and popular traditions collections. Seals, coins and medals evoke the history of Vaison in Vaucluse, shrouds Comtadine, nurseries Provence, decoys, weights and measures, bells illustrate the customs and know-how of the Comtat. Votive offerings dedicated to Our Lady of Health and donatifs Mount of Piety testify to the religious fervor while depicting the daily life of Carpentras in the nineteenth century.
The Sobirats Museum: Open from April to late September.
The decorative arts collections of the city of Carpentras met in the former mansion of the family of Armand de Chateauvieux, the lounges decorated with designs of plasterwork features Venaissin County.
From boudoirs in exhibitions, visitors can discover a set of regional furniture, a remarkable result of Aubusson tapestries, earthenware of Moustiers and Marseille, paintings of landscapes and aristocratic portraits.
The museum owes its name to the last count of Sobirats, generous donor institution. This tour recreates the warm and intimate atmosphere of a patrician house of the eighteenth century.
The butterfly Carpentras: from late June to late August.
Urban trial Carpentras Trophy: early July.
International Folklore Festival: July.
Trans'art: all of July.
International Festival of Jewish music: from July to August.
Summer Grand garage sale in August.
Show all collections in September.
Heritage Days in September.
Fair St. Siffrein: in November.
Truffle market: Fridays the November to March.
Exhibition of Santon: in December.
Unusual Christmas: in December.
The Truffle Christmas celebration: in December.
Visits, leisure and activities nearby
Nature Activities with numerous hiking in the area of Mont Ventoux and Dentelles. 13 cycling routes in the area asking Tourist Offices. For all levels and families.
Cultural activities with a program of guided visits to the territory of the Comtat Venaissin / Mont Ventoux: guided tours, special lectures, directed walks, workshops for adults and children and was the scene of visits !
Gourmet activities with the outputs of the Carpentras Tourist Office.
Swimming with 3 nearby lakes and a large water park. Meet the llamas, ride a donkey, tree climbing, Jarditrain, devalkart summer of Mont Ventoux! And many more to discover...