The Plus Beau Village of Les Baux de Provence is spectacularly perched high up on a rocky outcrop adjacent to the Alpilles. The cliffs on either side are vertical thus making this a formidable stronghold for the Lords of Baux who ruled here in medieval times.
From their stronghold the Lords terrorised the area – they became notorious for throwing their unransomed prisoners off the cliffs! They caused endless problems for the Counts of Provence who disputed their claim to the territory. At one time the Lords controlled 79 towns or Castles in the area known as the Terres Baussenques (Baux Lands). Eventually on the death in 1426 of Alix, the last princess, the Count took possession and in 1483 the fortress was demolished.
Fréderic Mistral had a particular affection for Les Baux. He wanted to make it his capital even though in his time much of it was in poor condition. However, in 1966 it was placed under the protection of the Ministry of Culture and in 1999 restored.
Interesting Fact: In 1821 a red rock discovered here was named Bauxite after the town.
Don’t miss: Place and Église St-Vincent, the bread ovens, the partly restored Château or the Chapelle des Pénitants Blancs.