Located on a plateau in the Alpilles just south of St. Remy de Provence, Les Baux was an important strategic location during the medieval days as well as during the Renaissance.
As tourists, we can appreciate the beautiful landscape of olive trees and grape vines starting right below the cliffs of the plateau and stretching into the distance. It reminds me of a landscape that Van Gogh might have painted (he spent a year in nearby St. Remy de Provence).
It is hard to imagine how difficult life must have been in medieval times. If marauders, the Black Death, the Inquisition, the Crusades weren’t enough to keep one occupied, one could create living space by carving rooms and homes out of the stone at les Baux.
Daily life must have been pretty boring albeit difficult if residents had enough time to carve shelves, windows and doorways out of the rock walls…
PS: I thought that I had found an almond tree worthy of including in my pronouncement of spring. Then, yesterday, I was visiting a friend’s blog and saw a great picture of almond trees. Please take a minute and visit Kristin Espinasse’s “French Word A Day” site. She has beautiful photos of almond trees in bloom. Go to: www.french-word-a-day.com and look for the post of March 7 (Comment faire). Kristin always writes interesting vignettes to go with the words to which she introduces us.