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.

A town with history

A town with history

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.

Market square

Market square

You can see the gorgeous vaulted ceilings as you walk around the square.

On the right is my favourite clothes shop.

On the right is my favourite clothes shop. (“one” of [added by Paul])

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.

Underneath the arches

Underneath the arches

Buskers outside the church

Busking in the sun

Busking in the sun

You are being watched! We have been to Monpazier several times and have only recently noticed these wonderfully artistic carvings

live wood carving

live wood carving


3 thoughts on “Monpazier

  1. Bonjour

    I first visited Monpazier in 1970 with my future Father in Law who warned me that it was not representative of his beloved France, but it could be enjoyed in the early evening summer sun with a small glass of the redstuff and a gauloise or two. His idea of heaven was his dairy farm in Tourliac, just outside Villeréal.

    Lovely blog



    • Thank you so much for reading my blog. We have just returned from Daglan and we are missing the village already. Reading your comment above did bring back very found memories of Monpazier, what a gorgeous place.

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