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The city is situated at an elevation of 715 metres (2,356 ft) above sea level. The name of the town literally means "handsome" in Provençal, a reference to the beauty of its setting. Manosque was built on a rocky spur; it now overlooks the fertile plain called La Crau that stretches down to the River Durance and has historically been famous for its grain crops and market gardening. It is flanked by two high hills: Toit de l'Oule (384 m or 1,260 ft), which dominates it to the north-west; Mont Vinaigre (383 m or 1,257 ft) lies further west across la Coulonche valley. These barren lands are covered with olive trees and cypresses as well as varieties of aromatic plants such as lavender and thyme.