Arles was known at one point as "the settlement by the swamp" - Les Baux is atop a high outcropping of rock, surrounded by rich farmland, full of olives and grape vines.
Waaaaay down there!
Even though Les Baux is up high, and seemingly impregnable, they still had to defend against seiges. These are some of the war machines that were used
And this plain of pavers (in the foreground) directed rain water to the cisterns (also helpful when under attack). Note the distant cliffs - there is a deep valley between the plain and the next door neighbor :-)
This is the castle (right) and the windmill (left) from the tip of the rocky spur
An interesting perpective
The remnants of two towers
The multi-storied castle was carved out of the rock...
(That tiny little dot in the corner of the tower is Rick. Yes, I chickened out)
This is what is left of the cathedral
And the château grounds
Here is a church in the town, just below the castle
And this is a *very* protected entrance!
* I dare you to find a French translation for this that makes sense (our dictionary says "bau" is a beam on a ship - hah!). The placard at the château said it is from "baou," a word that means "rocky outcropping" I guess that makes sense, right? Our later history is a little more obvious - bauxite was mined here, and yes, named for the town :-)
Wikipedia comes through - use google to translate this into English: https://fr.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baou
It took us almost 2 hours to get there, and a bit of anxiety when we arrived - from guide books, we expected some obvious parking lots. Well, it turns out these are metered parking spots along either side of the access road.
Gas: 45€ (but that was a fill-up from our Carcassonne trip)
Tolls: zero! We took the back roads :-)
Sandwich lunch / water: 15€
Château entrance: 8€ each