Les Baux-de-Provence: France’s Most Fascinating Medieval Village
There is something about being surrounding by an ancient, fortified village that appeals to and conjures our feudal senses. Les Baux-de-Provence is one of these places and is considered one of the most beautiful and fascinating medieval villages in France. Rural Hotels Provence has firsthand experience that is sure to entice even the most knowledgeable history buff.
Situated at a rocky, hilltop site between Arles and St Remy-de-Provence, Les Baux is a must-see during your family holiday adventure. When walking around the village, it’s easy to find traces of each era embedded throughout. Les Baux-de-Provence dates back to 6000 BC and was later used around the 2nd century as a Celtic oppidum. It wasn’t until the Iron Ages when it was built into a permanent village with streets and more durable housing.
The medieval ages drench Les Baux-de-Provence in rebellious and conniving history. During this era, it was the seat of powerful Baux lords who battled and controlled over 79 towns and villages. Because of its impressive position in the foothills of the Alpilles mountains, the infamous fortress “Citadelle des Baux” boasted strategic advantages of spectacular views and protection against attacks and raids.
Fast forward through hundreds of years, and we now have one of the most visited medieval villages in France, collecting around 1.5 million tourists a year. The secret is to visit Les Baux-de-Provence during the offseason from autumn to spring. This will give you more of a chance to mingle with the 400 permanent residents while exploring the lands, castle and other highly notable ruins and establishments.
You can easily spend at least two days in Les Baux-de-Provence, with one visit to see the old village and another for the chateau-fortress. The village can only be visited by foot, allowing you to delve deep into the heart of its architectural splendour. The cobbled streets are tucked between stone buildings housing restaurants, cafes, museums and tourist shops.
The French government has meticulously restored and listed some of the historic monuments, including St Vincent church, Renaissance townhouses and hotels, the town hall and various chapels.
Other essential sights are:
- The Saint Blaise chapel and cemetery
- The Quiqueran Hospital (with medieval weaponry demonstrations)
- The Windmill and Saracen Towers
- The Rabbit Burrow and The Keep
- Saint Catherine’s Chapel
The breathtaking views and ancient, stony ruins of Les Baux-de-Provence leave you with a sense of wonder and historical knowledge of the area. If you’d like to find a comfortable hotel close by, here are four of our most recommended that you might like to consider:
Contact Rural Hotels Provence’s friendly staff and we’ll be happy to assist you with your booking.