History of Les-Baux-De-Provence
The first human beings appeared in this area 6,000 B.C. and in the 10th century this castle was built. Pons le Jeune is one of the well-known members of Les-Baux family. His name is seen in the family documents from 934 to 981. The last member, Alix died in this castle in 1462. The history concerning this castle is very long, and many events took place between the 10th century and 15th century. Many wars, revolts and so on. However when it comes to the 16th-century Les-Baux began to enjoy its prosperity. This is the time when many architectures were made up, but unfortunately very few decorations and paintings remain.
In 1632 the castle was destroyed because of the trouble which was caused by a traitor. So the present deserted appearance will remind you how sad it was.
The Sights of Les-Baux
First of all, the vast image of this area will astonish you. It’s located in the north-west of Marseilles. On top of the hill is the castle. There are many small hills around here, which are called Alpilles. It’s the beginning of the Alps. You can also look down over the sea in a distance. And what I didn’t like was there was a strong wind blowing down from the Alps. They call this gale Mistral. And it was a little cold too.
You can have access to the hill by car, but the road doesn’t go up to the top. You have to park your car and climb up on foot. There are small souvenir shops at the foot of the hill and many old buildings. And those buildings will remind you of the old times. When you arrive the entrance, you pay and go into the small museum, where you can learn about the history of this area. After collecting some information, you go outside again and find some monuments. There is a huge catapult on exhibition. It’s really big. I felt very scared, imagining that people used this at this high place. When you go on further, you will find the ruined castle. It’s hard to believe that people really lived in such a place. And there are steps which lead to the top of the stone building. It’s very scary because there’s more wind on top, so I couldn’t enjoy the view. If you are not afraid of heights, I’m sure you will have a wonderful view from there.
Also this area has many nice restaurants and hotels. My recommendation is La Petite France (55, avenue de la Vallee des Baux-13520 LE PARADOU TEL ０４ ９０ 54 41 91). It stands in a small village and has a nice atmosphere. The waitress was very friendly, and when I visited this restaurant one Japanese chef was studying their cuisine, and the waitress let me in the kitchen. The Japanese chef told me that many people come to eat taking lots of time by car.
In 2009, I had another chance to visit Les Baux, and this time I visited a different restaurant “Ou Ravi Prouvençau”.
Ou Ravi Prouvençau
34 av Vallée des Baux – 13520 Maussane les Alpilles
Tél. 04 90 54 31 11 I Fax. 04 90 54 41 03
サイト Ou Ravi Prouvençau
In summer, in the pretty garden,
in winter, in the charming salon.
You can enjoy traditional Provençal food all year.
My recommendation is pieds et paquets Marseillais (photo on the left).
Goat cheese with olive oil and herbs is excellent too!! ( photo on the right)
This restaurant was introduced in Figaro Japan.
For your information, there is another spot to visit in the neighborhood.
Moulin Jean-Marie Cornille
olive oil factory.
You can find fresh olive oil!!!
Chateau des Baux
13520 Les-Baux-de- Provence
tel : 04 90 54 55 56
fax: 04 90 54 55 00
Summer 9:00-8:30 pm
Spring and Fall 9:00-6:30 pm
Winter 9:00-5 pm
25ｋｍ from Avignon、15ｋｍfrom Arles
Airports : Niem 、Marseilles 、Avignon
ＴＧＶ : Aix-en-Provence 、Avignon