Beaux de Provence, FranceProvence is most certainly one of my (many) favorite corners of Europe. If you are visiting the region, you should try to set aside some time to visit the suggestive ruins of Les Baux de Provence.

A visit to this site makes it clear why this was selected as a defensive position – visitors have a clear view for kilometers around them from every side. Archaeologists have found traces of settlements dating back as far as 6000 BC.

Beaux de Provence, FranceLes Baux was at the height of its power and splendor during the middle ages, when it was the feudal seat for 79 surrounding villages and towns and it boasted an opulent court.

Today the castle and the walled town are mostly in ruins, but it’s a lovely place to take a walk and admire the ruins, the surviving buildings and churches, and the stunning views over the valley below.

Beaux de Provence, FranceIn the summertime, there are popular and noisy “weapons displays” – in which actors demonstrate the use of catapults (they claim to have the largest working catapult in all of Europe), bows and arrows, and crossbows. Since we were travelling with children, this was clearly the high point of our visit.

The only downside of Les Baux de Provence is that it attracts numerous tour groups. Try to visit earlier in the day to avoid the jostling crowds. Nevertheless, it’s a scenic place and certainly worth a visit on your trip to lovely Provence.