6 Saint Vincent's Church

The old village had three churches - St. Andrew's in the Fontaine Valley which was the first parish church (it no longer exists), Notre-Dame-du-Château also known as St. Catherine's Chapel (12th-16th centuries) within the walls of the fortress, and St. Vincent's Church.

Once a priory dependent on Saint-Paul de Mausole in Saint-Rémy de Provence, the 12th-century building is typical of the constructions in Les Baux with its southern section built half into the rock. The nave, which has ribbed barrel vaulting, was extended eastwards in 1609 without breaking the Romanesque harmony of the building as a whole. Inside are some modern stained-glass windows by Max Ingrand (1960), a gift from Prince Rainier III of Monaco. There is also the funeral chapel of the Manville family with Flamboyant Gothic vaulting and, in the chapel dug into the rock, the ceremonial cart used for the "pastrage" ceremony during Midnight Mass when the cart carries the newborn lamb offered to the Baby Jesus by the shepherds.

 

Outside, the West Front underwent extensive alteration during the 19th-century restoration work which, in particular, changed the flight of steps that used to run along the wall (there are traces of its removal). Above the doorway and a rounded window, there is a superb sculpture of a lion. On the South side, the Lantern of the Deceased is an elegant circular turret topped by a cupola decorated with gargoyles. Tradition has it that a fire was lit in the turret whenever somebody from Les Baux passed away.