The village of Les Baux-de-Provence gave the aluminium ore Bauxite its name. It was identified near this village by geologist Pierre Berthier in 1821. Pierre Berthier''s name is also written as one of the 72 French scientists or engineers on the Eiffel tower.
Les Baux is now one of the most picturesque villages in France. Its population is a fraction of its peak population of over 4,000, and many of its buildings are picturesque ruins.
The surrounding dramatic rocks and cliffs are said to have inspired Dante Alighieri in his vivid descriptions of Purgatory in the Inferno.