Les Baux-de-Provence

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Les Baux-de-Provence
Coat of arms of Les Baux-de-Provence
Les Baux-de-Provence (France)
Les Baux-de-Provence
region Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
Department Bouches-du-Rhône
Arrondissement Arles
Canton Salon-de-Provence-1
Community association Vallée des Baux-Alpilles
Coordinates 43 ° 45 '  N , 4 ° 48'  E Coordinates: 43 ° 45 '  N , 4 ° 48'  E
height 52-310 m
surface 18.07 km 2
Residents 355 (January 1, 2017)
Population density 20 inhabitants / km 2
Post Code 13520
INSEE code

Les Baux - the site

Les Baux-de-Provence is a southern French city and a municipality ( commune ) with 355 inhabitants (at January 1, 2017) in the Bouches-du-Rhône in the region of Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur .

The place is dominated by a ruined castle, which is one of the largest in France by area; it is classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France ( Les plus beaux villages de France ).


Les Baux-de-Provence (Baux comes from the Provencal word Baou , which means something like 'rugged cliffs') is located on the southern slope of the Alpilles in the historic Provence region about 19 km (driving distance) northeast of Arles on an approx. 220  m high plateau that clearly towers above the surroundings. The plateau measures around 800 × 200 meters. The municipality is part of the Alpilles Regional Nature Park .

Population development

year 1800 1851 1901 1954 1999 2013
Residents 394 431 355 180 434 450

In the 18th century, Les Baux had 3,000 to 4,000 inhabitants. During the time of the French Revolution , the population decreased dramatically.

Economy and tourism

Today, the highly developed tourism represents the livelihood of a good part of the local population. But the arts and crafts are also well represented and attract both actors and customers. The historic town center is almost exclusively used for tourism - only a few people still live there.

Two agricultural products from the area are officially allowed to bear the municipality's designation of origin . The wine from the southern edge of the Alpilles can be marketed as Les Baux-de-Provence AOC or Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence , and gourmets now regard the same area as an excellent location for the production of olive oil .


In 1822, the importance of a brownish-purple mineral found at Les Baux, known as bauxite , was discovered. It contains an aluminum compound from which pure metallic aluminum can be obtained by electrolysis . However, with increasing globalization, production became unprofitable in the middle of the 20th century and was subsequently discontinued.


The defenses of Les Baux led to an early settlement. Traces of residents can be traced back to approx. 6000 BC. To date. In 1993, pottery was excavated , which proves that the rock was also inhabited during the Bronze Age. The Celto- Ligurians used the rock plateau with an excellent view of the plain extending to the south as a fort or oppidum around 200 BC. Used.

In the Middle Ages , Les Baux was the fortified center of a powerful feudal dynasty that ruled over 79 places in the area. The Princely House of Les Baux derived its origins from one of the Three Kings , Balthasar, and therefore included the star of Bethlehem in its coat of arms. As a result, the place developed into a stronghold of the art of love . The height of court life was reached in the 12th and 13th centuries, when knighthood was cultivated to excess and troubadours came to Les Baux from far away. In 1426 the line died out with the last princess Alix des Baux and Les Baux came into the possession of Ludwig III. d'Anjou , Count of Provence.

Under the rule of the Manville family , Les Baux and Provence came under the control of the French crown. The place became a center of the Huguenots . In the era of the Wars of Religion created a failed revolt on the part of the Duke of Orléans against King Louis XIII. for Cardinal Richelieu the pretext to besiege the castle in 1632 and to let the inhabitants of the city drag it down in 1633.

After serving on France's side against Spain, Spain confiscated land from the Grimaldi family . Through the Treaty of Péronne , concluded on July 8, 1641 , which excluded any French interference in the government or justice of Monaco , the Grimaldi family received four fiefs in France in return , including Les Baux, from which the Grimaldis had previously driven the Spaniards. At the same time, Les Baux was made a marquisate. As a simple shepherd's village, Les Baux was attached to France in 1791 during the French Revolution in return for financial compensation. The Grimaldi still bear the title of Comtes des Baux ("Counts of Les Baux") today.


The landscape around Les Baux is very different from the rest of Provence because of the numerous stones and rocks. This phenomenon inspired the ancient Greeks to the declaration that Heracles on the way back from his tenth work for Eurystheus in Spain, where he led the flock of Geryon had been attacked had captured, in Les Baux by the natives of Provence, the Ligurians. They wanted to rob him of the flock and Heracles was helpless because he had run out of arrows. Since it was Zeus came to help and have had one shower of stones fall on the Ligurian, and Heracles did bombarded with stones. This is how the current shape of this landscape came about.


Access to Carrières de Lumières (2017)
  • The Château des Baux with its fortification wall.
  • The Musée des Santons is located in the old guard building from the 16th century and displays a magnificent collection of nativity scenes from the 17th century.
  • The museum Musée du château des Baux is located in the old building Hôtel de la tour de Brau from the 15th century and documents the history of the place.
  • Various ancient war implements: Bliden , a catapult and a battering ram .
  • the parish church of St Vincent
  • The old Sainte-Catherine chapel from the 11th century.
  • The Romanesque chapel of Saint-Blaise .
  • The Hôtel de Manville, dating from 1571, has been used as a community hall since 1960, but it also contains an upscale restaurant and a room for traveling exhibitions.
  • The Porte Eyguières castle gate used to be used for the water supply and was the only vehicle access.
  • The Hôtel des Porcelets, with its elegant 16th century facade, is now home to the museum of the works of the painter Yves-Brayer .
  • The Post Tenebras Lux window
  • The pavilion de la Reine Jeanne
  • Carrières de Lumières , also known as Cathédrale d'Images until 2012, uses the former lime mine of Les Baux-de-Provence for multimedia shows and art installations.


Web links

Commons : Les Baux-de-Provence  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Commons : Château des Baux  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Les Baux-de-Provence to Les plus Beaux Villages de France (French).
  2. Les Baux - Viticulture
  3. Les Baux - red wines (top vintages)
  4. Note on the history of les Baux (PDF; 15 kB).
  5. More about Honoré II .
  6. Michael Grant, John Hazel: Lexicon of ancient myths and shapes . dtv pocket books, 2008, ISBN 3-423-32508-9 , p. 196.
  7. Website Carrières de Lumières (fr)
  8. Sights in Les Baux-de-Provence: No. 16 Carrières de Lumières (de) , on lesbauxdeprovence.com, accessed on January 8, 2017