The Monument to Charloun Rieu
Why is this place so important ?
A major figure of Provençale poetry, Charloun Rieu’s popular form of poetry left a lasting mark on the region. His bust, which stands on the outcrop, overlooks the Vallée des Baux.
Created in 1930, the monument is the work of the Marseille sculptor Botinelly. It was erected in honour of the poet Charles Rieu. The farmer, who was born in the village of Paradou in 1846, was the eldest son of ten children. He was, therefore, quite naturally destined to follow in his father’s footsteps as an agricultural worker.
He initially wrote poems in French, with some success. Frédéric Mistral subsequently encouraged him to write in his mother tongue, Provençal. This is how Charles Rieu, who became known as Charloun dou Paradou, became part of the movement for the renewal of the Provençale culture and language in the nineteenth century. His Chansons du Terroir, Nouvelles Chansons du Terroir, and his Derniers Chants du Terroir were published between 1897 and 1904. Charloun Rieu also published a translation, in Provençal, of Homer’s Odyssey (L'Oudissèio d'Oumèro).
The carved stone face of Charloun Rieu will now forever gaze over the extraordinary panorama that stretches out before him.
Did you know?
The Baux outcrop, on which the monument stands, gave its name to the site because ‘bau’ in Provencal means a rocky escarpment. The steep escarpment, which is between 20 and 45 metres high, provided the castle with a natural form of protection against an attack from the plain below.