The Middle Ages
Château de Les Baux
 
As almost a crossroads it becomes a meeting point for Troubadours travelling to and from the courts of Spain, France & Italy, from England, Flanders & Paris to the Holy land. L'amour Courtois is being written, and written about.
Les Baux, its Seigneurs & their Court share equally; the intrigue, terror and romance of the early renaissance kingdom of Occitane.


They built their chateau at the end of the 10th century. Claiming descent from the magician King Balthazar, one of the three wise men. A Star radiating sixteen beams of light was their coat of arms
.

From the 12th to the 13th century is a reign of peace & prosperity . Clerics begin to educate knights and they come to live together under the same roof of the Noble. Troubadours roam, sing and write poetry. Les Baux is celebrated for their refined court life, L'amour Courtois (Courtly Love) was to flourish.

Oppéde le Vieux
(A Chateau and Village in ruins)
A place of surveillance and defence, of the ancient 'road of Bronze' between Spain and Italy which came to be the Roman, 'Voie Aurelia'

Surrounded on three sides by a vertical drop, it is thought the anti-pope Benoît X111 was assassinated here.
Rays of sunlight just penetrate the tall thriving vegetation which from a distance almost disguise the abandoned village. You can still walk up the narrow streets of an entire medieval village and enter the ruins of the castle

The Chateau of the Marquis de Sade
Donatien - Alphonse - François de Sade born in Paris was first introduced to the chateau at the age of twenty five, he set about making it a centre for high society to meet.
Festivals, balls and intimate 'play' in his newly installed theatre. Hot summer nights were to see seigneurs et belles dames, separate on the stone plateau where he had planted an aromatic garden, while peasants could only look up at a spectacle, in an inaccessible but illuminated fortress.

But the seigneur of Lacoste was not a master comme les autres. He first took refuge here in 1771 after l'affaire d' Arcueil, when he tied a beggar naked to a divan whipping her until she bled. She did escape to tell the accusing tale. But far from sober reflection he was to multiply his excess of temperament especially in his personal theatre.

Made prisoner in Vincenennes, then the Bastille he eventually died in the asylum of Charenton in 1814, according to the notaire, 'of a sickness of the body and mind'. Meanwhile in 1792 with the courage of the revolution and revenge, eighty citizens sacked the chateau.

Once a bastion of protestant purity, the chateau came to be seen as a citadel of fear and horror. Not since Baron Maynier d'Oppède, an original sadist, gave all the women and girls of Lacoste to the audacity of his soldiers, had the village suffered so much.
In notable addition to the 120 days of Sodom, Philosophy in the Bedroom and Juliet, he wrote nearly one hundred books of lucid criticism against all the political, economic and moral institutions of France, at the opening moment of the Revolution.
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