Les Baux-de-Provence was one of my favorite visits on our trip to Provence. It was a gray day so I shot in mainly black and white and sepia-nostalgic modes of the camera. In processing the shot above (Les Baux Chateau), I played with the shadows, highlights and exposure filters. But it was originally shot in sepia. It looks better larger, so click on it or here for the full size.
Les Baux is a village of a ruined castle and ancient homes built into a large rock formation. It took it's name from the mineral bauxite, discovered there in 1822. And like Yvoire, it is known as one of France's most beautiful villages.
We visited the town in the evening so things were closing down but the upside were fewer tourist and we had the castle to ourselves.
The Lords of Baux were badass mo-fos, err, I mean renown in the Middle Ages as "warriors to all--vassals never." Claimed descendants of the Maji King and Balthezar, the feuding war lords won many titles and became princes of 79 surrounding villages such as Arles, Orange and Marseille.
They were such a bad lot, one of the princesses was widowed three times, likely losing all her warlord husbands in feuds. She herself, was eventually killed---smothered---by an ambitious cousin. Geesh, talk about family issues.
Mr. Wild Dingo refused to pose in one of these head and hand stocks for me. Like I was goning to leave him there or something. As if! He needs to do a lot more traveling so I can visit a lot more countries on his frequent flier miles. Duh.
In fact, Mr. Wild Dingo scoffed at many of the Les Baux ruins. Being a fan of Roman antiquity, he simply cannot comprehend how Rome was taken down by a bunch of barbarians. "At least Rome was civilized and had cities, homes and theater. And the architecture was aesthetically designed. The barbarians built their homes in caves ," he mumbled.
Yes, they were nuttier than a squirrels lunch, I give you that. In fact, Viscount Raymond de Turenne, one of the Les Baux family members, enjoyed pillaging and countryside terrorising. While he wasn't pillaging, his favorite past time was to force his unransomed prisoners to jump off the castle walls. Doesn't he sound just delightful?
It's no mistake my astrological sign is a goat, so I climbed up every steep tower and section of the chateau available while Mr. Wild Dingo preferred vistas closer to earth. He'd climb them with me but would hurry down while I took my time and got the full 360 degree vistas of the olive trees and the valley.
Today Les Baux offers plenty of entertainment, including the ability to launch the catapults, sword fight and other enjoy other past times of medieval times.
"Speaking of barbarians..."