28 September 2015

Les Baux

Les Baux* de Provence - it's just a little past Arles, but somehow, very different!

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.

Our cost:
Gas: 45€ (but that was a fill-up from our Carcassonne trip)
Tolls: zero! We took the back roads :-)
Parking: 5€
Sandwich lunch / water: 15€
Château entrance: 8€ each

1 comment:

Dennelle Taylor Nizoux said...

So glad you got to see this unique and magical place! I would highly suggest visiting the Carrière des Lumières/Cathédrale d'Images right down the road, except you might not like the fact that it's in a quarry, even if the ceiling is extremely high and the space is not stifling in the least. ;-)