相片集

Photographer's Note

This photo was taken during a hike in Provence.

Les Baux-de-Provence is a commune in the Bouches-du-Rh鬾e department in southern France, in the province of Provence. It has a spectacular position in the Alpilles mountains, set atop a rocky outcrop crowned with a ruined castle overlooking the plains to the south. Its names refers to its site in Proven鏰l, a baou is a rocky spur. The village gives its name to the aluminium ore Bauxite which was first discovered there in 1821 by geologist Pierre Berthier.

The defensive possibilities of Les Baux led to the site being settled early on in human history. Traces of habitation have been found dating back as far as 6000 BC, and the site was used by the Celts as a hill fort or oppidum around the 2nd century BC. During the Middle Ages it became the seat of a powerful feudal lordship that controlled 79 towns and villages in the vicinity. The lords of Baux sought control of Provence for many years.

Despite their strengths, the lords of Baux were deposed in the 12th century. However, the great castle at Les Baux became renowned for its court, famed for a high level of ornateness, culture and chivalry. The domain was finally extinguished in the 15th century with the death of the last princess of Baux, Alice of Baux.

Les Baux was later joined, along with Provence, to the French crown under the governance of the Manville family. It became a centre for Protestantism and its unsuccessful revolt against the crown, led Cardinal Richelieu in 1632 to order that the castle and its walls should be demolished.

The town was granted in 1642 to the Grimaldi family, rulers of Monaco, as a French marquisiate.

In 1822 the mineral bauxite was discovered near Les Baux by the geologist Pierre Berthier. It was mined extensively in the area, but by the end of the 20th century had been completely worked out; France now imports most of its bauxite from west Africa.

Les Baux is now given over entirely to the tourist trade, relying on a reputation as one of the most picturesque villages in France. Its population of 22 in the old village is a fraction of its peak population of over 4,000, and many of its buildings (in particular the castle) are picturesque ruins.

The surrounding dramatic rocks and cliffs are said to have inspired Dante Alighieri in his vivid descriptions of Purgatory in Purgatorio, the second book of the Divine Comedy.

In the Ch鈚eau des Baux demonstrations of huge catapults (the biggest Trebuchet in Europe, a Couillard also called biffa and a Bricole) are given every day from April to September.

This village is an important touristic spot, for the one who do not like to be surround by people and who looks for quiet i recommand to drive around. There are other villages which are nicer, warm and enjoyable.

Provencce is a colourful region, with so many perfumes in the air, it's like a daily invitation for all the senses.

Nobody has marked this note useful

Photo Information
Viewed: 4379
Points: 6
Discussions
  • None
Additional Photos by Clemence Castanier (FreewheelerBee) Silver Note Writer [C: 9 W: 0 N: 15] (263)
View More Pictures
explore TREKEARTH