A general view of Forcalquier, with the Luberon Massif in the background
|Intercommunality||Pays de Forcalquier et Montagne de Lure|
|• Mayor (2014–2020)||Christophe Castaner (PS)|
|Area1||42.76 km2 (16.51 sq mi)|
|• Density||110/km2 (280/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||04088 / 04300|
|Elevation||397–904 m (1,302–2,966 ft)
(avg. 550 m or 1,800 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Forcalquier is located between the Lure and Luberon mountain ranges, about 30 km (19 mi) south of Sisteron and 10 km (6.2 mi) west of the Durance river. In the Middle Ages it was the capital of Haute-Provence.
Furnus calcarius was the Latin name, from the lime (chaux) ovens used in Roman times. (A Roman bridge still stands in the valley to the south of the town.) Its Provençal name is Fourcauquié. At the end of the 11th century, a family of the Counts of Provence created the comté de Forcalquier that remained an independent state through the 12th century.
During this time, the town of Forcalquier was the capital of Haute Provence along the Durance, which included the towns of Manosque, Sisteron, Gap and Embrun. Forcalquier minted its own currency, and its church was elevated to the status of a "concathedral".
The Counts of Forcalquier grew to a power that could defy the Counts of Provence. Rivalry ended in 1195 when Gersende de Sabran, comtesse de Forcalquier, married Alfonso II, the Count of Provence. Their son, Ramon Bérenger IV inherited the two counties.
The inhabitants are called Forcalquiérens.
Forcalquier is built around the slopes of a steep conical hill, crowned by an octagonal chapel, Notre Dame de Provence, where the medieval citadel once stood. The citadel was destroyed in 1601; the chapel with its panoramic view was built in 1875. It has a carillon that can be heard every Sunday morning during the summer.
The oldest part of the town is the area around the Place Saint-Michel with its Renaissance fountain (1511) and its narrow side-streets. There many doorways dating to the 12th to 16th centuries can be found.
The present commercial and social center of town, the Place du Bourguet, is located below the Place St. Michel. The 12th century "concathedral" Notre Dame de l'Assomption with its bell towers stands across from the Place du Bourguet.
The Cordeliers Convent was built in the 13th century by Franciscans named "cordeliers" because of their rope belts. This convent was occupied by monks continuously until the Revolution. It now houses the Université Européenne des Senteurs & Saveurs. The Port de Cordeliers is all that remains of the town's fortified walls.
Monday morning is market day in Forcalquier. The market fills the Place du Bourguet and the adjoining streets.
- Raoul Dufy
- Garsenda of Forcalquier
- Charles I of Naples
- Joan I of Naples
- Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence
- Louis III of Naples
- Guigues VII of Viennois
- Alfonso II, Count of Provence
- Jaufre Reforzat de Trets
- Geoffrey II of Provence
- Ladislaus of Naples
- Marguerite of Provence
- Louis Feuillée
Forcalquier is officially twinned with:
- Guastalla, Italy
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Forcalquier.|
- Tourism office website
- Provence Beyond: Forcalquier
- Provence Web: Forcalquier
- Radio Zinzine: Public radio located in Forcalquier