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The Dordogne's best preserved Bastide


Arguably the best preserved of all the Bastides and a Plus Beau Village to boot, Monpazier was founded by King Edward I of England in 1284.

Monpazier’s most important function was to control the route north to the Dordogne and south to the Agenais and this strategic importance led to its falling into French hands during the Hundred Years’ War.


Rectangular in shape and in a sense the perfect model for a Bastide town, the arcaded main square, called the place des Cornières, echoes this rectangular format. The houses are organised in blocks and were originally all the same size.

Nowadays Monpazier is a quiet small town in the Purple Périgord and ideal for a pleasant exploratory stroll. Afterwards enjoy a cool drink in the shade of one of the arcades – perfect on a warm day!

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Market day: Thursday

Tourist Information

Plus Beaux Villages 0f Dordogne & Quercy


Text © Paul Shawcross

Images by Paul Shawcross