The Comtat Venaissin, often called the Comtat for short, was the name formerly given to the region around the city of Avignon in Provence, in what is now southern France. It comprised roughly the area between the Rhône, the Durance and Mont Ventoux, with the opposite bank of the Rhône under the control of the French Crown. Avignon itself was, however, never part of the Comtat but constituted a separate Comtat (county) in its own right.
Successive French rulers sought to annex the region to France. It was invaded by French troops in 1663, 1668 and 1768–1774 during disputes between the Crown and the Church. It was also subjected to trade and customs restrictions during the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV. Papal control persisted until 1791, when an unauthorized plebiscite was held and the inhabitants voted for annexation by France. The papacy did not, however, recognise this formally until 1814.
Categories: French history | History of Catholicism in France
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