The Château's former chapel
At the entrance to the Château stands its former chapel. In the 12th century, it was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and provided the Château with both religious and physical protection. It has been dedicated to Saint Catherine since the 16th century. The oldest remains of the Château can be found here and it is difficult to imagine that this ruined chapel with its collapsed roof used to be a richly decorated building dedicated to contemplation and prayer. However, at the start of the 15th century, Alice, the last sovereign princess of Baux followed services here from a small wooden oratory furnished with carpet and green silk cushions bearing lizards embroidered in silver thread. A chair and a bench incorporating a trunk would have been used for seating.
On the walls hung an ancient high-warp tapestry featuring the Magi and a large painting depicting Saint Anthony. There were also two altars, one bearing a reliquary, as well as an altarpiece, two paintings and a small organ lent by the prior of the Carmelites of Arles.
The Chapel of the Virgin Mary had numerous liturgical works and pieces of ecclesiastical silver. But it was particularly rich in ecclesiastical clothing made from sumptuous fabrics: velvet, satin, damask and cloth embroidered with gold thread.
In the 16th century, the chapel, now dedicated to Saint Catherine, was restored. Its primitive barrel vaulted ceiling was replaced by a ribbed vault with liernes and tiercerons in a flamboyant Gothic style.
The Chapel of Saint Blaise
This chapel was built in the 12th century by the guild of weavers and carders in honour of their patron Saint Blaise. Like many small Romanesque chapels that you might come across in Provence, it has a simple rectangular footprint. In its façade is an arched doorway, rounded at the top, with an oculus and bell tower above.
The film “An aerial view of Provence” is shown here. Accompanied by Mozart’s piano concerto no. 21, this 15-minute film whisks you over the most beautiful monuments and landscapes of Provence. You fly over the Alpilles mountains on the edge of the Luberon to explore the Rhône valley, the rocky outcrops, grand historical monuments and the prettiest villages perched high in the hills of Provence. (Watch the trailer).