Hilltop Villages and “Bories”
To protect against invaders and other unwelcome visitors, as well as sometimes taking shelter from the fierce Mistral winds, villages in Provence were often tucked high into the hillsides or located at the tops of hills. In villages that were governed by a feudal lord, the chateau (castle) was at the peak with the houses build around them. The houses were nestled together often into the wall or village fortifications for safety in cases of attack.
Today, these picturesque villages which seem to cling to the hillsides accentuate the charm of life in Provence with their shady village squares, fountains and stone washing troughs, narrow streets, covered ruelles and tall stone buildings.