Les Baux-de-Provence is a commune, located in the Bouches-du-Rhône department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region (France).

Located in the Alpilles massif, Les Baux is more a tourist site than a place to live. The city welcomes more than a million and a half visitors each year. The town has 289 inhabitants, 22 of whom still live within the walls of Les Baux — the upper part of the village, which is a member of the association, The Most Beautiful Villages of France.

The commune produces olive oil of the valley of Les Baux-de-Provence, which is protected by the appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) by a decree issued by INAO on 27 August, 1997.

The commune is classified AOC for its Coteaux-des-baux-en-provence wines. This AOC was created by decree on 20 April, 1995, for red and rosé wines, which were first classified VDQS by an order for Coteaux-d’aix-en-provence on 23 January, 1956.

Tourism and main attractions

The town has 22 historical monuments, but, today, most of the buildings that make up the castle are in ruins.

Civil monuments

Santons Museum, which houses collections of santons from the 17th century to the present, is located in the former 16th century guardhouse.

Château des Baux and its ramparts are properties of the commune of Les Baux.

The Museum of the Château des Baux, located in the former Maison de la Tour de Braü, a 15th century building, retraces the history of Baux-de-Provence. This museum has since been replaced by a shop; only a model of the castle in the Middle Ages remains.

Reconstructed war machines: several trebuchets, a ballista and a ram. Since April 1, 2007, three new catapults, capable of firing, have joined them: the largest trebuchet in France (16 meters high), a bricole and a couillard. These three machines perform shooting demonstrations every day (with real projectiles!).

Hôtel de Manville: the Hôtel de Manville has housed the town hall since 1960. The building was designed in 1571 by Flayelle, architect of Vivarais, on behalf of Claude II de Manville, the nephew of Claude I of Manville from a Toulouse family, captain of the royal galleys, knight of the Holy Sepulchre and later named captain viguier des Baux. The property was offered by Prince Bianchi de Medici de Manville to the municipality to accommodate the town hall.

Post Tenebras Lux window (topped with the inscription Post tenebras lux 1571 (“After darkness, light – 1571”); Calvinist motto. This house was the property of Brisson Peyre (or Jean de Manville), plowman, in 1571, and was transferred, in 1584, to Charles Laugier, lieutenant of the Viguier des Baux, house of Claudius II; his wife is buried in Saint-Vincent.

Porte d’Eyguières (“Water Gate”), the only cart gate in the village.

Hôtel des Porcelets, with an elegant 16th century facade, now housing the Yves-Brayer museum.

Pavilion of Love of Queen Joan (16th century).

The Maison Jean de Brion, housing the Louis Jou Foundation.

The Quiqueran hospital, founded in the 16th century.

The King’s House, built in 1499.

Religious monuments

The old Sainte-Catherine chapel.

The old Saint-Blaise chapel (12th century), built by the corporation of weavers and carders in honor of their patron: dating from the 12th century, it became the seat of their brotherhood in the 18th century.

The Saint-Vincent des Baux church, 12th century-16th century, partly dug into the rock; it overlooks a square planted with elms and hackberry trees. The building was classified as a historic monument in 1886.

Restaurants

L’Oustau de Baumanière: 3-star gourmet restaurant in the Michelin Guide and leader of the 5-star hotel Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence, this old 16th century farmhouse has become one of the essential buildings in Les Baux-de -Provence both for its gastronomy and for its wine cellar which, with its 60,000 bottles, is one of the most beautiful restaurant cellars in France.

Shortest distances and how to get to?

From Paris: 7 hr 24 min (719 km) via A6 and A7

From Toulouse: 3 hr 21 min (336 km) via A61 and A9

From Marseille: 1 hr 21 min (87.6 km) via A7 and A54

From Monaco: 2 hr 57 min (268 km) via A8

From Andorra: 5 hr 8 min (462 km) via A61 and A9

From Madrid: 10 hr 11 min (1,042 km) via A-2

From Moscow: 33 hr (3,228 km) via E30/M1

From Belgrade: 15 hr 52 min (1,571 km) via E70

From Istanbul: 26 hr (2,520 km) via E70

From Bern: 5 hr 41 min (561 km) via A1

Main information

Area: 18,07 km2

Population: 289

Coordinates: 43°44′38″N 4°47′43″E

Language: French

Currency: Euro

Visa: Schengen

Time: Central European UTC +1

See here France travel guide

See here Spain travel guide

See here Pyrenees travel guide

See here Andorra travel guide

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