Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Baux is for Bauxite

Les-Baux-de-Provence (as well as a stunning medieval cliff-top castle and village listed officially as one of France's most beautiful villages) is where, in 1822, aluminium ore was first discovered and mined and thus Les-Baux is the place from where bauxite takes its name.

Massive blocks of limestone were hewn from these hills to be processed into aluminium - at that time one of the most precious metals on Earth. The ore is long mined out, leaving these strange geometrical caves in the rock face.

The quarries are abandoned, but can still be clambered up to.

The only part of the quarry to continue to be used houses an astonishing sound and light show in what is called the Cathedrale d'Image - the image cathedral. But that's another story...

No comments:

Post a Comment