The Castle’s Former Chapel
Why is this place so important ?
The chapel is the oldest remnant of the castle. It is a fine example of the Flamboyant Gothic style of architecture.
Built near the castle’s entrance, the chapel provided the castle with both religious and physical protection. In the twelfth century, it was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and subsequently to Saint Catherine in the sixteenth century.
It is difficult to imagine that this ruined chapel with its collapsed vaulted ceiling was once a richly decorated edifice dedicated to contemplation and prayer. However, at the beginning of the fifteenth century, Alix, the last chatelaine of Les Baux, attended services here in a small wooden oratory furnished with a carpet and green silk cushions ornamented with lizards embroidered in silver thread. The seating consisted of a chair and a bench with a storage compartment. There were two altars, one bearing a reliquary as well as an altarpiece.
Visitors can admire the ceiling and its ribbed vault with liernes and tiercerons in the Gothic style. Initially in the Romanesque style with a barrel vault, it was restored in the sixteenth century.
Did you know?
In the fifteenth century, the Chapel of Saint Mary was richly decorated and furnished. There were two paintings, a small organ lent by the priory of the Carmelites of Arles, many liturgical works, and pieces of silver. But it was particularly rich in ecclesiastical clothing made from sumptuous fabrics. On the walls hung an ancient tapestry featuring the three Magi and a large painting depicting Saint Anthony.