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The Keep

Why is this place so important ?

The keep is by far the most representative remnant of the castle. The seigneur, or lord, and his family generally lived in one and the same room, in the keep. Moreover, it was at the top of the rock that the Castle of Les Baux was built.

Castle area

To counter any attempt to scale the walls, the Lords of Les Baux constructed the keep by cutting into the rock—which reaches a height of up to twenty metres—overlooking the valley. It is mostly made of rock, because the keep was built into the section of rock that was largely removed. Stones were therefore readily available and the blocks ready to be shaped, at a time when many castles were still wooden constructions. Quarries were, in fact, often located some distance away and transporting the stone was expensive.

The lowest level of the keep had only one room, but on the first floor there were three and the total area measured 35 by 12 metres.

In detail

Today, the stones still show traces of certain constructions, such as the arches supporting the first floor, the doors and windows, and the holes indicating the anchor points for the wooden beams.

Did you know?

The keep was still inhabited at the beginning of the fifteenth century, as Alix des Baux passed away in ‘the large room in the tower’. The latter was richly furnished and included a buffet and coffers containing silverware, jewels, and family documents.