1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Les Baux

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LES BAUX, a village of south-eastern France, in the department of Bouches-du-Rhône, 11 m. N.E. of Arles by road. Pop. (1906) 111. Les Baux, which in the middle ages was a flourishing town, is now almost deserted. Apart from a few inhabited dwellings, it consists of an assemblage of ruined towers, fallen walls and other débris, which cover the slope of a hill crowned by the remains of a huge château, once the seat of a celebrated “court of love.” The ramparts, a medieval church, the château, parts of which date to the 11th century, and many of the dwellings are, in great part, hollowed out of the white friable limestone on which they stand. Here and there may be found houses preserving carved façades of Renaissance workmanship. Les Baux has given its name to the reddish rock (bauxite) which is plentiful in the neighbourhood and from which aluminium is obtained. In the middle ages Les Baux was the seat of a powerful family which owned the Terre Baussenques, extensive domains in Provence and Dauphiné. The influence of the seigneurs de Baux in Provence declined before the power of the house of Anjou, to which they abandoned many of their possessions. In 1632 the château and the ramparts were dismantled.