Monday, 19 November 2012

Les Baux de Provence

Thanks to Brett Jnr's tireless research, we decided to spend most of our day today in a village officially voted one of France's most beautiful, "Les Baux de Provence". Set in the heart of the Alpilles and just south of St Remy de Provence, Les Baux's streets can only be explored on foot. The whole village is perched on a spur of rock, at the summit of which stands its imposing medieval chateau. On week-ends, costumed knights entertain visitors with jousting, archery and catapulting displays. We felt even luckier today, to have the time and open spaces, to explore all Les Baux had to offer relatively uninterrupted. It was perhaps the most stunning and unique village we have yet visited.

Our morning started in St Remy de Provence, where Brett and the boys had a much overdue hit of tennis. Eloise and I intended to make the most of our spare time by having fun exploring St Remy. However, surprise, surprise - most of the shops and cafes are closed on Mondays! I don't think we'll ever work out these Europeans' time system.

Driving only about ten minutes south, we arrived at Les Baux de Provence, jaws wide open! The surrounding scenery of white rocky outcrops was stunning and seemingly endless. Did you know that bauxite is actually named after Les Baux, as it was discovered here in the Alpilles in 1821?

St Remy de Provence Tennis Club

Brett Jnr has a hit at St Remy

Approaching Les Baux de Provence

Climbing Les Baux de Provence's cobbled streets

Princess Grace of Monaco

Gift shop in Les Baux

Chapel at le Chateau des Baux de Provence

Coloured paintings near monuments recreated medieval life

Brett at le Chateau des Baux de Provence

View of the Alpilles Valley from the chateau

Brett Snr - Les Baux de Provence

Tricia - Les Baux de Provence

Eloise - Les Baux de Provence

Modern sculpture at Le Chateau des Baux de Provence

Statue of Charles Rieu, poet and bard of Les Baux

Les Baux poet, Charles Rieu (1846-1924)

Brett, Eloise and Sean enjoy the sunshine of Les Baux

Tricia with one of the huge catapults at Les Baux's chateau

Photo of Tricia at Les Baux, taken by Sean

Sean attempts to use the battering ram at Les Baux's chateau

Brett Jnr in strife

Just where the children want us!

Le Ch√Ęteau des Baux de Provence

View of Les Baux village from the castle

Brett at Le Chateau des Baux de Provence

Eloise at Le Chateau des Baux

View of the Alpilles Valley from the chateau

The Robinsons - Les Baux de Provence

Eloise makes a wish at Les Baux

Brett Jnr at St Catherine's Chapel, Le Chateau des Baux

Les Gendarmes - adding to the scenery!

Tricia and a French Gendarme

Eglise Saint-Vincent, Les Baux de Provence

Carving out your own parking space at Les Baux de Provence

Provence's prolific cicada souvenir - a symbol of good luck!

Even the shop signs in Les Baux are captivating
After a nice lunch in the village, we paid the entrance fee to explore the castle and its seven hectares of land, which overlooks the breathtaking Alpilles Valley below. It was so much fun climbing the walls and exploring the ancient ruins, which included a chapel, a hospital, towers and even a dovecote. All this under clear skies and in mild autumn weather. 

Our day ended with another brief stroll through Les Baux's village, including its church, where stained glass windows were given as a gift by the Grimaldi's of Monaco in the early '60's. It was a magical day, in a setting almost beyond imagination.                Tricia

1 comment:

  1. what an interesting little village! some great portrait photos in there - somebody's getting good with the camera!!!