Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Castle on the Rocks

It's hard to tell which side the castle was on, it blended right into the rocks in a very strategic location at the top of a steep hill.  But look at the lady on the bicycle!  She seemed hardly deterred by the steep grade - she didn't even look like she was exerting herself!   And she was not a young woman.  This is the road to the 10th century castle atop the town of Les Baux.  It is a grand fortress built out of the rocks.  You can see from the photos below it is often hard to see where the fortress began and where the rocks ended.  

The town was well-protected behind the castle.

I could almost picture the knights in shining armour...

The spectacular panorama from the high fortress wall -  you can see the vineyards and the orchards with the Alpilles, the mountain range in Provence in the distance.

Some not-so-medieval knights demonstrating on the medieval siege machines

I love the many levels the castle is on - until I have to climb them!  But it has many courtyards, towers, underground passages, even a medieval hospital - really quite a fun place.

It would make quite an amazing play castle, don't you think?  Magical!  This has got to be my favourite castle.

And a serious chapel underneath the rocks...

This is the view from one of the highest points on the castle wall - it was quite a sheer climb, but worth it.

We arrived at the end of a very hot day so by the time we left, the town was deserted.

The setting sun highlighted the white bauxite in the surrounding mountain sides.

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