Characteristic of the Middle Ages, the bastide is a new town created to make life good there. Explore Villeneuve-d'Aveyron, Villefranche-de-Rouergue, Najac, Rieupeyroux, Sauveterre-de-Rouergue and La Bastide-l'Evêque to let yourself be convinced!
A singular architecture
Stroll through the streets of the bastides of our territory, these perfectly arranged spaces that will arouse your curiosity. In these villages there is no anarchic plan, no inextricable mess, but a rigorous layout where the streets intersect at right angles and are organized around a central square. It is a perfect example of the measured, structured and codified Middle Ages, laid out according to the deliberate will of men.
Constituting a real checkerboard, the bastides are for the most part ideally located on the trade routes that pilgrims also used to go to places of devotion, including that of Santiago de Compostela.
They are endowed with charters defining the main lines relating to the life of the future inhabitants, their rights and advantages as well as their duties. In these rules of procedure, there were many benefits in kind with the donation of settlement land and certain tax exemptions.
A little history
It was in the XNUMXth century that Raymond VII, Count of Toulouse, developed a real policy land use planning by the foundation of Bastides. Specific to the south-west of France, this plan for the rationalization of space was pursued by Alphonse de Poitiers, brother of Saint Louis, and maintained until the middle of the XNUMXth century by the kings of France and England, dukes of Aquitaine.
At that time, more than 300 bastides were founded with the aim of responding to strong population growth, political unrest linked to the crusade against the Albigensians, a desire to reassert power in steep areas and the need to put in place value and exploit the surrounding land.
A charm unique to each
Today, these towns and villages offer a cultural heritage. something exceptional for you with grid streets, central squares lined with arcades, many mansions and beautiful old houses. Whatever their size, they all have a particularity.
Immerse yourself in the history of these towns of character
These bastides have become very dynamic artistic centers in the summer, as evidenced by the Festival in Bastides at the beginning of the month of August. Theater, circus, dance and music performances with companies from all walks of life are on the program for this event offering the public a cultural and festive adventure, rich in moments of emotion and laughter.