Let’s go and discover the most beautiful bastides in the South-West, the scene of Franco-English rivalries during the Hundred Years War. Bastides are new towns whose town planning style makes them exceptional sites.
This escape into this medieval world will sharpen your curiosity about this era which made the kingdom of France shudder. During the 13th and 14th centuries , the castles no longer really face external aggressions, so the bastides were born. They are built according to an orthogonal plan, both strongholds and public places . They also mark the fierce desire for renewal and even innovation. While protecting the countryside, they allow the population to host fairs and markets and to develop economic activity.
There are 400 bastides in the South-West . Here is a selection of the most beautiful in New Aquitainebecause very well preserved or classified as ” Most beautiful villages in France (External link) “. We start this journey with the Dordogne Valley.
In the Dordogne Valley
Between Sarlat and Agen stop at Villefranche du Périgord , the oldest country house in Périgord . It retains a superb hall mounted on stone columns and noble old residences. Take your time to stroll through the medieval alleys where a quiet happiness emanates.
20 km further west, the bastide of Monpazier , founded in 1284 by Edward I, Duke of Aquitaine and King of England, remains a model of its kind. This English basidia, classified as the “Most Beautiful Villages of France”, is considered to be one of the most perfect and best preserved in the South-West . In the hall, the framework of which dates from the 16th century, there are grain measures used on market days.
In the Lot and Garonne valleys
A little over 22 km south of Monpazier, Monflanquin, the flagship of the destination, is a bastide created in 1252. It is the most emblematic and best preserved of the surrounding bastides. Monflanquin is ranked among the most beautiful villages in France . Walk through the small streets to soak up the medieval charm that reigns over the bastide. In Monflanquin the village houses the museumbastides and tells through a modern and attractive scenography the phenomenon of new towns corresponding to the demographic and commercial explosion of the countryside in the Middle Ages.
Nearby make a stop in Villeneuve sur Lot, built according to a checkerboard plan. It is the largest country house in the Lot valley . It is also the capital of the entente plum , from which we obtain the famous Agen prune.https://www.youtube.com/embed/e2Mi4b5vIPA
In the vicinity of Villeneuve, stop at Pujols , classified among the “Most Beautiful Villages of France” to discover alongside the half-timbered houses, the many artists who come to exhibit there in the summer.
Find out more about the Bastides of Lot-et-GaronneIn the Landes, Armagnac and the Basque Country
Located to the east of the Landes, the village of La Bastide d’Armagnac , 30 km from Mont-de-Marsan, founded in 1291, is one of the most beautiful bastides in the South-West, nestled in the heart of Bas-Armagnac. Many Armagnac producers open their cellars to passing visitors for a visit and a tasting.