The hilltop village of Les Baux de Provence is propore to ignite imaginations, the cradle of tales and legends. The contours of a medieval fortress is drawed on the Alpilles jagged ridge bleached by the sun. The Castle of Les Baux de Provence, although largely destroyed still dominates the plain below, the wild ruins still give an idea of the power of the lords of Baux de Provence in the Middle Ages.
For the history of the Lords of Baux joined legend. They cause recurrent conflicts with the Count of Barcelona sovereignty over the County of Provence in the 12th century, they areallied to the Count of Anjou during the conquest of the Kingdom of Naples in the 13th century, and with the robberies of Raymond de Turenne in 14th century, they fueled chronic and inspired poets for centuries to come.
Many visitors visit each year to Baux de Provence. This is one of the most beautiful and most famous touristic spot in the region. The picturesque village of Les Baux is nestled below the crest of the promontory and its castle, sheltered from the Mistral. The "Carrieres de Lumières" attracts many visitors as it moved into the old quarry near the village.
The village of Les Baux de Provence is perched atop a steep foothills of the Alpilles, sheltered by the steep ridge and castle walls. The spectacular place reminds an eagle's nest perched above the valley of Les Baux, looking far away over the plain to the Mediterranean Sea.
Eagle's nest perched above a marshy plain, the place was chosen by the first settlers as a refuge and place of supervision. It controls access to a collar that clears the Alpilles. Only one gate, "the Eyguière gate" previously allowed to enter the village surrounded by ramparts. Today visitors enter more easily into the leases by a breach in the walls near the neck of the Vayède where parking spaces are arranged.
The village of Les Baux de Provence reached its apogee in the 16th century, when the village had 3,000 inhabitants, most beautiful homes and mansions date from this period. The village had a long and inevitable decline, its inhabitants have deserted to settle in villages Maussane and Mouriès Paradou, close to water points. It was almost abandoned before being rediscovered by poets and artists who have given him international recognition. This is nowadays one of the most visited village of Provence.
It is a maze of cobbled streets and bustling with tourists and onlooker, enlivened by souvenir shops and craftsmen. We see beautiful mansions as Manville Mansion, the King's House housing now the Tourist Office. A monumental window emerges, an enigmatic Latin inscription on the lintel is inscribed: "Post Tenebras Lux - 1571" "After darkness light." Quote from the Bible is a Calvinist motto reminds the troubled times of the wars of religion when Baux de Provence and its fortress was a Huguenot stronghold.
At the end of the village, a place is the chapel of the White Penitents and the Romanesque church of Saint Vincent reached by wide stairs.
Coming to the Baux de Provence : location GPS N 43°44'38'' - E 4°47'43''
Accommodation near the Baux de Provence :
Mas d'Emilie Charming Bed and breakfast at Fontvieille near the Baux de Provence.
Tourist Office : web site www.lesbauxdeprovence.com
Monuments et activités : Christmas in Les Baux de Provence - Chateau des Baux - Church of Saint Vincent - Yves Brayer Museum - Museum of Santon - Hotel Manville - Louis Jou Foundation - Careers Lights - Val d'Enfer - Golf of Les Baux
Location of the Baux-de-Provence : altitude 205 metres, 369 inhabitants,11 km from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, 18 km from Fontvieille, 18 km from Arles, 22 km from Eygalières, 30 km from Avignon, 70 km from Aix en Provence,