Carpentras (Provençal Occitan: Carpentràs in classical norm or Carpentras in Mistralian norm) is a town and commune in the département of Vaucluse in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur région of France. It stands on the banks of the Auzon, a tributary of the Ardèche River. As capital of the Comtat Venaissin, it was frequently the residence of the Avignon popes; the Papal States retained possession of the Venaissin until the French Revolution. Nowadays, Carpentras is a commercial center for Comtat Venaissin.
Carpentras was a commercial site used by Greek
merchants in ancient times, and known to Romans at first as Carpentoracte Meminorum
, mentioned by Pliny
, then renamed Forum Neronis
("Forum of Nero"); the city retains an impressive Roman triumphal arch
, that has been enclosed by the bishops' palace, rebuilt in 1640, now a law court, and a machicolated city gate
, the Porte d'Orange
It was the seat of a bishop and its Church of St. Siffrein, Gothic with some Romanesque remains, was formerly a cathedral. Pope Julius II was made the Bishop of Carpentras when he was 17.
Carpentras has been an important center of French Judaism, and is home to the oldest synagogue in France (1367), which still holds services.
In May 1990, there was a desecration of the Jewish cemetery (see French and European Nationalist Party ).
Carpentras is famous for the Truffle market that takes place every Friday morning during the winter months.
Its traditional confectionery is the berlingot, a small hard candy with thin white stripes, originally made from the syrup left over from conservation of fruits.
Carpentras was the birthplace of:
Carpentras is twinned with: