Place:Sisteron, Basses-Alpes, France

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NameSisteron
TypeCommune
Coordinates44.267°N 5.933°E
Located inBasses-Alpes, France
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Sisteron ( in classical norm or Sisteroun in Mistralian norm) is a commune in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.

Sisteron is situated on the banks of the River Durance just after the confluence of the rivers Buëch and Sasse. It is sometimes called the "Gateway to Provence" because it is in a narrow gap between two long mountain ridges.

It is from Marseille, also from Grenoble, from Nice and from Forcalquier.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Sisteron has been inhabited for 4000 years. The Romans used the route through Sisteron as can be shown by a Latin inscription in the rocks near the road to Authon. It escaped the barbarian invasions after the fall of Rome, but was ravaged by the Saracens. It was first fortified by the Counts of Forcalquier in the 11th century and later was the northern boundary of the domain of the Counts of Provence. In 1483 during the reign of Louis XI, Sisteron re-joined the kingdom of France. Around this time there were seven plagues that killed two thirds of the population. Between 1562 and 1594 the town and its citadelle was fought over by Protestants and Catholics including two sieges. During this time the walls of the town were built. The plague returned in 1630, and typhus in 1744, killing many of the town's population.

During the French Revolution the town remained Royalist. Consequently when Napoleon arrived on his march north after his escape from Elba in 1815, the town ignored him and let him through.

On 15 August 1944 French B-26 Marauder bombers and American B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 42nd Bomber Wing tried to destroy the railway bridge and the road bridge which span the Durance. The weather was unfavorable and the bridges were not destroyed. A bomber during a manoeuvre to avoid a collision accidentally dropped several bombs on the town. including a full church, causing about 100 fatalities and seriously damaged the citadel. On August 17, the French aircraft returned and destroyed the bridges.

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