BASTIDE TOWNS

Whilst in this area don't forget to visit some of the famous Bastide towns of Beaumont, Issigeac and Monpazier.

A new concept in the 13th Century, the bastides were essentially built to promote business. This is why the market place is the focus of each bastide, rather than its church or chaâteau as had been the rule. Bastides were not designed defensively, but as times grew more troubled ramparts and fortified gates were added to those of strategic importance like Domme along the disputed French/English frontier. Terrain permitting the architecture of these towns followed the pattern of a chessboard. Monpazier is a particularly fine example.

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