The History of the Comtat Venaissin
At the beginning of the 11th century, the territories of the Marquisate of Provence became the property of the Counts of Toulouse, a powerful Occitan family. After the Albigensian Crusade, in 1229, Count Raymond VII of Toulouse gave his lands along the Rhone River. The territories west of the river were acquired by the king of France, and those east of the river were acquired by the papacy. The pontiffs inherited it in 1274. The Comtat Venaissin was born under the reign of Pope Gregory.
The Comtat Venaissin reached its peak in the 14th century, when the popes settled there. Seven pontiffs succeeded one another from 1305 to 1377. They cultivated cereals, olive trees and vineyards, built palaces, churches, monasteries and castles, reinforced the city walls, and contributed to the cultural and political influence of the region.
The region remained the property of the Papacy until the French Revolution, and was attached to France on August 18, 1791. This territory allowed the creation of a new department, the Vaucluse.