Founded in 35 BC as a Roman colony, the city of Arausio, or Orange as it is now known, was named after the local Celtic water god.
Ancient Orange was Rome in miniature, with a similar layout and the same public buildings, including a theatre, a temple complex an arch and a forum.
In the 4th century, Orange became a Bishopric, ruled by a Catholic Bishop and a small university was established here. In the 12th century the town was ruled by the Counts of Baux, then in 14th by the Counts of Chalon.
When William the Silent, Count of Nassau, with estates in the Netherlands, inherited the title Prince of Orange in 1544, the Principality was incorporated into the House of Orange-Nassau. Under William Orange found itself embroiled in both the Wars of Religion and the Eighty Years War. William was assassinated in Delft in 1584 and in 1618, his son Maurice became Prince of Orange. Under Maurice the independent Dutch Republic, which later became the Netherlands, was born. It is still ruled by the House of Orange-Nassau, it still holds the princely title of Orange and of course, its national colour is orange.
The last great son of the Principality of Orange in France was the famous William III, who invaded England in 1688 to depose James II and become King of England, Scotland and Ireland. He ruled jointly with his wife Mary until 1694 and is best known as William of Orange.
Orange remained part of scattered Nassau holdings until it was captured by the forces of Louis XIV in 1672 during the Franco-Dutch War and was finally ceded to France in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht.
Following the French Revolution of 1789, Orange was absorbed into the French département of Drôme, then Bouches du Rhône, then finally Vaucluse.