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The bastide of Monpazier (the "peace making mountain"), founded in 1284 by an emissary of the "warrior king" Edward I of England, the Duke of Aquitaine, in the middle of Sarlat and Bergerac, has maintained its splendid buildings over the ages, each one more surprising than the next. Its appealing architecture and its ideal situation remain an inexhaustible source of inspiration and serenity. The Place des Cornières, dotted with arcades, was, and is still today, the main center of creative impulses. The name Monpazier still calls to mind the image of these buildings that were built in the Middle Ages. It forms the impressive stage of a square bounded by arcades and with no access to the streets. Today it remains filled with shops and is home to many events. Though some changes have been necessary to the bastide, its spirit is still marked by architectural treasures that have attracted visitors for centuries. The square is very similar today to how it looked one hundred years ago.



"Situated north of the Dropt river, Monpazier 'is perhaps the best-preserved of the ancient fortified towns that were founded in the late thirteenth century by the kings of France and the dukes of Aquitaine, the kings of England, to keep watch over and maintain their common border. In exchange for the service they were called upon to provide to the inhabitants, they received extensive rights. The bastide of Monpazier was created on behalf of Edward I of England by his seneschal Jean de Grailly, who made a coregency agreement in 1285 with Pierre de Gontaut, the lord of Biron. According to this agreement, the administration and dispensation of justice was divided between the Duke of Aquitaine and the Lord, each represented by a bailiff. During the fourteenth century, the bastide fell first into the hands of French and then to the English. From 1557 on, the propaganda of the Reformation, encouraged by the neighboring lords in Biron, opened an era of violence for Monpazier, the most important episode of which was the arrival of the famous Huguenot leader, Geoffroy de Vivans, into the city that was won by treachery on June 21, 1574. In 1594, Monpazier played an important role in the insurrection of the Croquants of Perigord, and in 1637 the Duke of Epernon had a weaver named Buffarot who had revolted tortured to death on the main square. › (H. de Segogne, Dordogne Périgord, p. 79). The name of the village, still spelled Montpazier in the nineteenth century, goes back to the late thirteenth century, in a Latinized form Castrum (fortress, that is to say, a walled city) Montis Pazerii. The name is Occitan in origin, and consists of mountain, from the Latin mons, montis and pazier, the name of the official who was responsible for ensuring law and order, perhaps a last name in the Middle Ages. Pazi is derived from patz, which comes as the French word meaning peace (Old French pais), from the Latin pax. "

Article "Monpazier", in: Tanet, C. ; Horde, T. Dictionnaire des Noms de Lieux du Périgord (Dictionary of Place Names of Périgord), 2000, Périgueux, Fanlac Editions, 450 p. (translated from French)

Plan arcades

“While Domme was a French bastide, Monpazier, an English bastide, was founded in 1284 by Edward I. The city has kept its ramparts and most of its entrances. Its layout is particularly curious. Three longitudinal and four intersecting roads cut the town into right angles. The houses are organized with a cellular uniformity (see drawing) and are separated by narrow alleyways of equal dimensions. At the centre is the church and large square surrounded by houses with overhanging roofs, called cornières that provide a form of cover (shown in the photo). It is the oldest known attempt at medieval urbanisation. For this, Monpazier is famous.”

Texte et image in : Périgord, France. Brochure éditée par le Ministère des Travaux publics, des Transports et du Tourisme, 1952. (translated from French)



L'HONNEUR, DR. R., Monpazier, Logis, gens et faits d'autrefois, Monpazier: Imprimerie contact, 90 p., reprint
COSTE, M., 2002, Monpazier, Les clés d'une bastide, Librairie du château, 160 p.
BENNE, P., 2008, Biron, Un château pour découvrir l'Histoire de France, Villeneuve-sur-Lot: Les éditions du Bord du Lot, , 2 vol., 597 p.