Monpazier, “the most perfect bastide”, (which is a fortified town), designed in a neat rectangular grid around an arcaded square with a market and church is one of “Plus beaux villages de France” with 32 listed buildings. It was founded late as bastides go, in 1284, by Edward 1 of England. It prospered long enough to have a perfectly rotten 14th Century, when the town was a football which was kicked around during the Hundred Years War, then came bad harvests, typhoid fever, and finally the Black Death. However, life in Monpazier continued.
It was during the next round of warfare, over religion, that the Duke of Sully recorded a story about Monpazier which is worthy of a Monty Python sketch: by sheer coincidence Monpazier decided to raid Villefranche-du-Perigord, the next bastide to the east, on the same night that Villefranche decided to do the same to Monpazier. By chance each took a different road; each was delighted to find their goal undefended and easy plunder, and carried its booty back-to ransacked homes. An agreement was struck, and both sides gave back everything that they had stolen and peace was restored.
Note that the regulation cornieres, or arcades around the square are irregular.
Every time we go to France we plan our next visit to Monpazier, it is always worth a visit, especially on a Thursday, market day.
You can see the gorgeous vaulted ceilings as you walk around the square.
We had to stop and buy a selection of olives, the smell was gorgeous, herbs, garlic, cheeses etc
Just look at the variety and size of the locally grown tomatoes, they tasted good too.
This was taken just off the market square.
Buskers outside the church
You are being watched! We have been to Monpazier several times and have only recently noticed these wonderfully artistic carvings