Thursday’s Special: Traces of the Past 02: Les Baux en Provence

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

Early humans used this site at Les Baux en Provence with traces of man being found as far back as 6000 BC. It was known to be used as a fort by the Celts in 2nd century BC but during the middle ages it really came into its own. Sitting on its hilltop it was perfect position for the Lords to protect/control the 79 villages that were in the vicinity. In the grounds of the Chateau are placed reproductions of some of the archaic weaponry that was used.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

The Counter-weight trebouchet is the largest catapult in Europe and is still in good working order. Every April to September demonstration of its use in addition to some other weaponry is carried out. This weapon appeared around 12th century AD and was found in both Muslim and Christian lands. It could throw a 160 kg projectile a considerable distance. There were none surviving after the 16th century and an engineer reproduced these from plans dating from 1324.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

Built in the 10th century, the Chateau des Baux was a fortified castle which was largely demolished on the orders of Louis XIII. Clambering over the remains gave an idea of what it would have been like.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

And the view showed why it was such a perfect place for a fort.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

One of the villages the Lords protected.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

In the village of Les Baux where once there were 4,000 plus residents it has whittled to a mere 22. A delightful village to wander.

In response to Paula’s Thursday’s Special. Here you can see other entries.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. Commenced a masters by research in 2014.
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19 Responses to Thursday’s Special: Traces of the Past 02: Les Baux en Provence

  1. mukhamani says:

    Thanks for sharing, a beautiful place with so much history.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Heyjude says:

    I remember seeing a Trebouchet at Warwick Castle and there may even be one at Dover Castle too. Impressive structures!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Paula says:

    Hey Irene 🙂 This village has been on my list for ages :D. Your post shows a lot, and I appreciate it. The view from up there is breathtaking. Provence landscape is one of my favourite. Thank you, dear 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Thursday’s Special: Traces of the Past 02 | Lost in Translation

  5. Fascinating – I bet life was hard then, under “protection” of a lord, as long as you did as you were told. Still, the place is beautiful, even in ruins.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Charli Mills says:

    What an incredible place with all that history and views!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. noelleg44 says:

    This is a must -see place on our travel list now. A trebouchet was used this past fall to sling a one ton pumpkin in Maine! Check out You Tube – you can see it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful post. Love the history you gave as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Suzanne says:

    That is very interesting post – very informative. Those weapons look frightening.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. restlessjo says:

    There was an enormous trebouchet, built by Edward 1 to conquer Stirling Castle, on the History Channel this week. A fearsome weapon! Your village looks wonderfully peaceful. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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