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| Draguignan |
|Mayor||Max Piselli |
|Elevation||153–603 m (502–1,978 ft) |
(avg. 181 m or 594 ft)
|Land area1||53.7 km2 (20.7 sq mi)|
|- Density||712 /km2 (1,840 /sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||83050/ 83300|
|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.|
Draguignan is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, in southeastern France.
It is a sub-prefecture of the department and self-proclaimed "capital of Artillery" and "Porte du Verdon".
The city is only 42 km (26 mi) from St. Tropez, and 80 km (50 mi) from Nice.
 City's name
According to legend, the name of the city is derived from the Latin name “Draco/Draconem” (dragon) : a bishop, called Saint Hermentaire, killed a Dragon and saved people.
The Latin motto of Draguignan is : Alios nutrio, meos devoro (I feed others, I devour my children).
The elevation is 200 m, the highest hill near Draguignan being the “Malmont” (551 m). The main river near Draguignan is the “Nartuby”.
The city is set in a valley NW-SE, about 2 km (1 mi) wide.
- The name of Draguignan (“Dragonianum”) appeared for the first time in 909.
- During the Middle-Ages, Draguignan was a small village whose people lived from olive and grape cultivation.
- Draguignan became the “prefecture” of the Var in 1790, at the beginning of The French Revolution. This was despite the town not being the biggest city of the department. It remained the seat of the prefecture until 1974.
- In the 19th century and during a large part of the 20th century, the people of Draguignan (in French : “Dracénois”, in English : “Draceners”) voted for liberal parties (Radical-Socialist Party, Socialist Party).
- The town was occupied by the Wehrmacht in 1942-44 ; Draguignan was freed in August 1944, after Operation Dragoon.
- The city welcomed the “Ecole nationale d'artillerie” (Artillery School) in 1976, then the “Ecole nationale d'infanterie” (Infantry School) in 2010. The arrival of the military involved the development of the city : the small town became a city in the second part of the 20th century : 13 400 citizens in 1954, 33 000 in 2000, 38 000 in 2010.
- On June 15, 2010, the city was flooded: torrential rain caused the death of 12 people in the town, and 25 in the neighborhood.
 Major attractions
The Dolmen in Draguignan
- Museum of Artillery (Napoleonic wars, World War I, World War II, Indochina, etc.)
- Museum of "Arts et traditions populaires"
- Rhone American Cemetery and Memorial (American WWII cemetery) (see operation Dragoon)
- The Eglise St Michel
- Eglise Notre-Dame du Peuple
- The Dolmen Pierre de la fée (fairy's Stone), also known as the fruit rock.
This post has been edited by Ian Williams: 03 March 2012 - 13:33