Draguignan was named after ... myth: a fight between a man and a dragon ... reality: a ligurian/celtic word meaning path through a valley/over
water. Neolithique people left us a menhir and the dolmen Pierre de la Fée.
Draguignan was not a Roman town but remains from a few large Roman villas and some small houses belonging to ex-legionaires have been found. From them we know that wine and olives were already cultivated in the region. Today wineries and vinyards can be found everywhere in Provence and constitute a large part of the region's economy, exports and tourism. The Côtes-de-Provence produce many a shade of Rosé, a great summer drink. While still many olive trees can be seen the French production is not as intensive as in Spain or Greece.
Draguignan in 1940 had a mayor/house representative, Joseph Collomp, who as a representative refused to ratify Pétain's armistice. Resistance groups started in the city and in the country side. The city was occupied by the italians in 1942 then by the germans in 1943. A number of citizens chose to join the Maquis rather than the STO. Draguignan was freed first by the resistance groups on August 15th, 1944, during operation Dragoon. Then the german army fought to take it back on the 16th. The city was finally freed by the 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion.
Draguignan is a military town since the 19th century. Currently it is host to an Artillery School and an Infantry School. Canjuers the largest military shooting range in western europe is a few miles away. The army has an Artillery Museum and the city a Folk and Crafts Museum. Draguignan is an hour away from the French Riviera, it is also the gateway to the impressive Verdon Gorge (grand canyon du Verdon), as well as being surrounded by typical small provencal towns.