- Albi, Carcassonne and Dordogne -

Bruniquel 1

LINKS to other pages in the Albi, Carcassonne and Dordogne website and the Colin Day Travelling Days series:

1 : Home Page
2 : Introduction (Hotels etc.)
3 : Albi
4 : Najac
5 : Cordes Sur Ciel
6 : Bruniquel
7 : St Antonin Noble Val
8 : Gaillac Vineyard
9 : Castres
10 : Carcassonne
11 : St Cirq Lapopie
12 : Rocamadour
13 : Sarlat
14 : La Roque Gageac
15 : Cahors
16 : Guest Book:

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A (condensed) description taken from Wikipedia, the free internet encyclopedia, and other sources :

"Bastides are fortified towns built in medieval France starting around 1229, the date of the first recorded bastide. All bastides have a grid layout and a central market square with a covered weighing and measuring area.

Bastides began to appear as feudalism began to wane in medieval France, and were an attempt by landowners to generate revenues from taxes on trade rather than tithes. Farmers (peasants) who elected to move their families to bastides were no longer vassals of the local lord -- they became free men and had their own land; the deal for the entrepreneur was that he got to tax the peasants and the trade that the bastides generated. They were encouraged to work the land around the Bastide, which in turn attracted trade in the form of merchants and markets.

The lord taxed dwellings in the bastides and all trade in the market. Ease of trading was the reason for the grid layout and and also for the covered weighing and measuring area in the marketplace. Before the bastides were built the peasants either lived in isolated hamlets dotted about the countryside, or in houses clustered around castles or monasteries."

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BRUNIQUEL is one of the many bastide towns in France and occupies a high position along the southern edge of the Lot and Quercy region at the meeting of the Aveyron and Vère rivers.

The town is dominated by an imposing fortress of two castles, the older one founded (according to legend) by Queen Brunehaut (534 - 613), daughter of the King of the Athanalgilde Visigoths and wife of King d' Austrasie Sigebert, the grandson of Clovis. The present two castles are built on the remains of buildings dating from the 6th century. Bruniquel was held by the Count of Toulouse at the end of the ninth century and remained the property of the House of Toulouse until the beginning of the 15th century.

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Old streets in the village of Bruniquel  (Left and Below)

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The village was protected by two curtain walls. In the 15th century prosperous tradesmen and artisans built some magnificent dwellings in the village but the religious wars of the ensuing centuries led to a fall in the village's prosperity and much of the village fell into disrepair and houses demolished.   (Left)

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The belfry and clock tower in the old village  (Left)

The visit to Bruniquel continues on the next page.
Please click on the 'Next' button (lower right).

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