Les Baux de Provence
Updated: 7 days ago
How Do You Pronounce “Baux” in Baux de Provence
How do we pronounce Baux? We pronounce Baux like the adjective « beau » which means beautiful. I must say that this village is aptly named.
Where is Les Baux de Provence Located?
The Baux de Provence village is located in the Alpilles massif. It is a village located high up. You can say that it is a perched village.
Le Val de l’Enfer
Therefore, it offers a magnificent view of the valley called Val de l’Enfer. The Hell Valley gets its name from Dante’s description of hell in the “Divine Comedy”.
My Experience Visiting Les Baux de Provence
The first time I went to Les Baux de Provence, it was a romantic trip in winter. The weather was beautiful: big blue skies and sun even though it was a little cool.
When you arrive at Les Baux de Provence, you can not imagine that such a small village is so full of such beautiful treasures. Indeed, this village is classified “most beautiful villages of France”. It has 22 classified monuments. Among its monuments, there is a castle, a church, mansions, museums and the Quarry of Light. Each monument is the witness of different eras.
The Castel of Baux de Provence
The castle des Baux spreads over 7 hectares. It represents the medieval era. Medieval war machines such as the catapult, the ram, the siege weapon or even “le couillard” (another sort of catapult) are still on display there. For each machine, there are explanations of how it works. They explain the history of the machine and its etymology. It’s very interesting. Part of the castle was destroyed. But a map of the castle and many displays allow us to imagine what it looked like.
The Legend of Barbe
Legends and stories are also told such as the legend of Beard. It is a beautiful love story. A girl is promised in marriage to her cousin whom she loves deeply. Getting married to his cousin did not seem strange at the time. But the latter, called Guilhem, must wait 3 years (for reasons unknown to me) to marry her. Princess Beard gets sick. When Guilhem visits her, she dies. Not because of him. You got that, right ?! In his turn, his beloved then dies of sorrow.
At the time of her burial, she begins to move her eyes. She’s alive! She is told about the death of her dear and tender. She then decides to devote her life to God: the latter can not love another man.
Alright, it’s not very original. But I’m a little romantic [expression, lit: blue flower]. I like that kind of stories.
Cultural walks of the castle are available during the summer. Otherwise, you can enjoy audio guides. I feel that it’s all that is really needed and it’s a good way to practice your French.
Saint Vincent Church in Les Baux de Provence
The second monument not to be missed is the Saint Vincent church.
This church is a Romanesque church. But the vault of the funerary chapel is flamboyant Gothic while the stained glass windows are modern. They date from 1960. It is a gift from Prince Rainier III of Monaco.
Mansions of Les Baux de Provence
As I mentioned, there are also mansions. They date from the 16th and 17th century. They are the site of the Santons museums and the Yves Brayer museum.
It is possible to eat in nice and cozy restaurants.
Restaurants of Les Baux de Provence
A word of advice though: during the peak season, the restaurants are full to the brim!
Visit Les Baux de Provence Off Season
This village is home to 42 inhabitants during the low season and gets more than 2 million visitors in July.
So, it’s a place I recommend visiting off-peak touristic season: if you come for a French immersion in my home in autumn or winter, we’ll go there if you want. There is an incredible show featuring an famous artist’s works being projected on the quarries – it’s breathtaking!
My name is Virginie, and I'm a French teacher. I live in the countryside of Provence, with my husband and three young children. Enjoy an authentic French immersion family homestay in Provence! (We have a pool !!)