Built on a rocky outcrop, the Citadel of Les Baux de Provence offers you incomparable panoramic views over the Alpilles mountain range, the plain of Crau swept by the Mistral wind and the Camargue. The twenty or so residents who live within its walls jealously protect a patiently restored and unparalleled heritage. With the château of Les Baux and the Carrières de Lumières, this veritable open-air museum is a not-to-be-missed stop in Provence for the more than one million visitors who come here each year.
The Saint-Vincent Church, the Post Tenebras Lux window, the Maison du Roy, the White Penitents' chapel, the Hôtel de Manville, the Château.... 22 monuments testifying to a prestigious and tumultuous past have been listed with the historic preservation society. Architectural masterpieces can be seen and admired at every corner of the cobblestone lanes that criss-cross the old village. Art galleries, and crafts workshops, boutiques and museums, gourmet restaurants and 4-star hotels invite you for a longer stay in this exceptional setting.
The Citadel of Les Baux de Provence
The medieval village of Les Baux de Provence
The Post Tenebras Lux window, a vestige from the Renaissance, in Baux de Provence
The White Penitent's Chapel in Baux de Provence
The interior of the White Penitent's Chapel, frescoes by Yves Brayer
Saint-Blaise Chapel in Les Baux de Provence
Hôtel Manville in Les Baux de Provence
Yves Brayer Museum in Baux de Provence, Hôtel Porcelet
Exhibition in the courtyard of the Hotel Porcelet
The Carrières de Lumières in Les Baux de Provence
On its steep rocky cliff, the Château of Les Baux, a veritable stronghold from the Middle Ages, stretches majestically over 7 hectares. An audio-guide tour, available in 10 languages, reveals all the citadel's secrets as well as the chaotic history of the Lords of Les Baux. Shows and events are organized that permit people of all ages to relive the epic history: catapult demonstrations, the shooting of crossbows, medieval sword fights, young chevalier days and pony rides... In 2016, ladies took center stage during the "Médiévales des Baux" festival.
The old stone quarries of the Val d'Enfer are today the theatre for a magical show that changes its theme every year and which gave the site its name: “Carrières de Lumières" or “Quarries of Lights”. The masterpieces by great artists are projected onto the floor and 14-metre high walls of this stone cathedral. After Marc Chagall, in 2017 it's Bosch, Bruegel, Arcimboldo's turn to shine.
Spectators standing in the decor itself will be blown away by the musical and artistic staging of this whirl of giant images.
The journey continues with Jean Cocteau who filmed "The Testament of Orpheus" in this atypical setting in 1959, of which excerpts are presented in the space devoted to him.
Don't forget to take a jacket with you. The show will give you shivers in more ways than one: inside the temperature is about 14°C (57°F).
Baux de Provence boasts three “Vallée des Baux-de-Provence" protected designations of origin, for the broken green olives, the black olives and the olive oil that you can sample if you visit the olive oil mills still in operation. The Alpilles Regional Nature Park has a theme circuit through the olive orchards, "Flânerie entre les Oliviers".
Those who prefer organic wines will be pleased to know that 85% of the AOP Les Baux de Provence vineyards are cultivated using organic farming or biodynamic methods. A dozen wine estates offer tours and wine tasting.
The Alpilles Regional Nature Park has a multitude of marked trails great for hiking, cycling and horseback riding. Arles and Saint-Rémy de Provence are not far and Saintes-Maries de la Mer and the beaches of the Mediterranean are less than an hour's drive away.