Orange, town, France

Orange ôräNzhˈ [key], town (1990 pop. 28,136), Vaucluse dept., SE France. An agricultural market center, the town also produces refined sugar, pâtés, preserves, wool, and shoes. Tourism is also important. Orange was an earldom probably founded by Charlemagne. It became the capital of a principality (12th cent.) and was passed from family to family and eventually (1554), through inheritance, to William the Silent, of the house of Nassau. Among William's descendants were William III of England and the ruling family of the Netherlands. Orange was conquered (1672) by Louis XIV and confirmed in French possession by the Treaty of Ryswick (1697) and the Peace of Utrecht (1713), although the title remained with the Dutch princes of Orange. The town has important Roman ruins, notably a triumphal arch (1st cent. a.d.) and an amphitheater (c.a.d. 120) which is still in use.

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