"Who was Jean Althen?" Top 5 Page for this destination Rocher des Doms Tip by CatherineReichardt
Rocher des Doms, Avignon: 15 reviews and 34 photos
There is a rather good statue of a chap called Jean Althen on display in the park at Rocher des Doms ... which of course begs the question, "Who was he in the first place"?
The plaque is cryptic and just notes that he was Armenian and that he was an agronomist. This didn't leave me a lot wiser as to why he had been afforded such prominence, and so I undertook a little recreational research.
It turns out that M. Alten's contribution to Avignon's economy was significant, as he was the first man to commerically cultivate the madder plant to the area during the early 18th century. The madder plant is used to produce a whole range of natural dyes, which were subsequently used in Avignon's textile industry, which was experiencing a resurgence at the time.
Unfortunately this didn't help Jean Althen much, as despite his achievements, the poor man died a pauper in 1774.
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