An ancient Roman settlement nestling at the heart of Provence, the town of Orange in Vaucluse is steeped in history. First of all, it has two exceptional ancient monuments, dating back to the 1st century AD and now collectively classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built during the reign of Emperor Augustus, the Roman theatre is wonderfully preserved and boasts an astonishing scaenae frons: 103 metres long and 37 metres high! It was a major venue in Roman times and still is today thanks to its incredible acoustics. The triumphal arch at the north entrance to the town is equally superb. A symbol of Roman imperialism, this monument dedicated to the glory of the city's founders (the veterans of the 2nd Gallic Legion), then to the Emperor Tiberius, is a remarkable example of Provençal Roman art.
Right in the town centre, the 105-metre-high Saint-Eutrope hill towers over the town and offers a beautiful view of Orange's historic centre and Roman theatre, as well as the Rhône and the surrounding countryside. Ideal for a family walk, the wooded park on Saint-Eutrope hill includes the remains of the old castle of the Princes of Orange.
For several centuries, the city was the capital of the principality of Orange and many buildings were erected at that time. Discover the traces of this rich past by strolling around the town's winding streets and squares, then stop at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Nazareth. Built in the 13th century, this monument has been altered several times during its existence, particularly in the 19th century when it was given frescoes, stained glass windows and a Neo-Classical porch.
History buffs will enjoy the Orange Museum of Art and History, based in a 17th-century mansion, or the BA 115 Museum, which tells the story of the Caritat air base from the interwar period to the present day. Opera and classical music lovers won't want to miss the famous Chorégies d'Orange, an international opera festival that takes place each summer in the prestigious setting of the Roman theatre.
Lastly, Orange market is one of the biggest in Vaucluse. Every Thursday morning, come and appreciate its typically Provençal atmosphere as you stroll among the stands selling crafts and regional products.