town, Bouches-du-Rhone departement, Provence-Alpes-Cote-d'Azur region, southeastern France, northwest of Marseille. Founded in pre-Roman times as the oppidum (fortified town) of Le Salounet on a hill in the Val de Cuech, Salon achieved importance in the Middle Ages as a centre of the olive oil trade. It was the home of the 16th-century astrologer Nostradamus, whose house is preserved and whose tomb is in the 14th-century Collegiale Saint-Laurent. Other monuments are the fortified Chateau de l'Emperi (12th-13th centuries), a former residence of the archbishops of Arles; the 12th-century Romanesque church of Saint-Michel; and the 1630 clock tower. Olive oil products are still made, although petroleum lubricants are more important. Salon has been the site of the French Air Force Academy since 1936 and of a very important air base. Pop. (1990) 34,054.
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