Visit of the bastide town of Monflanquin

Monflanquin
Visit of the bastide  ...

Monflanquin is one of the most beautiful bastides in Lot-et-Garonne (which has around forty), but also in the region! These new towns in the south-west, built in the Middle Ages for the needs of commercial expansion, are very fine examples of the architectural modernity of this era full of changes. Monflanquin is also host to the Musée des Bastides, which is very instructive and educational on this subject. Come and stroll through this place with an exceptional panorama, with narrow streets each prettier than the next, charming shops, gourmet restaurants, craftsmen and above all a unique heritage! On the way to Monflanquin!

Photos of the article: Guide to Lot-et-Garonne

Monflanquin, overview


Bastides, these new towns in the south-west

Monflanquin is a country house that can be seen from afar, it is placed on a hill (a Pech), dominating the landscape of the Lède Valley with its superb. It is close to Périgord, it also echoes the Château de Biron that can be seen in the distance. The bastide was founded by Count Alphonse de Poitier, brother of King Saint-Louis (who also gave birth to Castillonnès , Villeréal and Eymet in Périgord) in 1256. It is the demographic expansion and the multiplicity of commercial needs that is the origin of the birth of the bastides, these new towns of which there are more than 300 examples in the southwest and which have inspired, it is said, as far as the United States (the architecture of Chicago would originally be inspired of Monflanquin!). The city is made up of two cart streets, the main axes of circulation, to which are added secondary streets and small pedestrian alleys, the Carrerots. In the bastides, the dwellings are in a row, they are narrow (about 7.5m wide) and deep (about 20m), a judicious arrangement to accommodate a maximum of people in a minimum of space while granting the necessary space. to the shops, on the ground floor. Monflanquin is a fortified bastide, it was equipped with ramparts (in 1282 when it came under English sovereignty, the ramparts were razed in 1628) with 4 entrance gates and 11 towers, very useful during conflicts and in particular Wars of Religions.

Continue your discovery of the Pays du Dropt, read our article to organize a stay and not miss any village or natural site of interest in this attractive region!

Monflanquin
Monflanquin


Visit the bastide town of Monflanquin

To make a complete, efficient and quick visit of the city, we recommend that you go to the Cœur de Bastide tourist office, to pick up a visit map of Monflanquin (in fr). Indeed, its parallel streets are home to a multitude of small historical and architectural details that one would be able to miss, not daring to venture into the small Carrerots (pedestrian alleys)... Park in the parking lot provided (follow the panels), you arrive on the Cap Del Pech side, where an orientation table has been installed to allow you to read the landscape. If you wish, you can take a walk from here on the boulevard du tour de ville, which runs along the former site of the ramparts. In summer, the Tourist Office organizes visits with Janouille, a curious character wearing a hat with bells, not to be missed.

Orientation table of Monflanquin
View of the agricultural plain from Cap del Pech


The visit begins at the Church of Saint-André which is part of the city's defensive elements. You then enter the central square, where the market has been held on Thursdays since the foundation of the bastide, passing by one of the most remarkable houses in Monflanquin: the House of the Black Prince (Édouard Plantagenêt, eldest son of the King of England). Admire its well-crafted architecture and openings! The market place (or place des arcades ) is the place where the heart of the city beats, it is here that the fairs take place and all kinds of products were sold there, it was also a place of discussions, gossip , strong social and cultural life! Formerly, a market was on the place, it is not there any more since the 18th century. We will notice the 4 angles, the covered passages under the arcades, which allow circulation and trade under shelters.

Bastides are, as we have said, new towns, they are endowed with a Charter of Customs (or franchise charter), which aimed to attract inhabitants to these new towns by granting them privileges, but also homework. It's a bit like the internal rules of the Bastide! You will learn more about the laws, uses and customs in the bastides, by visiting the very interesting Musée des Bastides de Monflanquin. Read our article on the best museums in Lot-et-Garonne.

Church of Monflanquin
Church of Monflanquin

Saint-André de Monflanquin church and its portal

The House of the Black Prince
Square of the arcades

The House of the Black Prince and the central square with its arcades

Arcades of Monflanquin
Archive photo of Monflanquin

A real game of 7 errors between this vintage photo and Monflanquin today


The free visit thanks to the map will take you to all the points of interest in the city. If you don't have a map, you can easily find the interpretive panels by observing the walls. In particular, you will pass by two places which have marked the history of the city and which are linked: The Protestant Temple which was built in the 17th century and the Augustins district and the Augustins Chapel which is in fact the Protestant Temple. It was there that in 1789 Les Grievances du Tiers-Etat were signed by the notable bourgeois and craftsmen of the city to appoint 19 deputies to Agen.

Continue the walk to discover the half-timbered houses, built with wooden beams and filled with mud, abundant materials at the time so that the construction of the bastide was done quickly and well. At that time, we left some 50cm between the houses, to stop any fires, to evacuate rain and waste water and unfortunately also to throw away our waste. Cluttered, smelly and unsanitary, the andronnes were not healthy! Some houses have corbels, floor enlargements on beams, which allow the house to be enlarged without paying additional taxes, indexed to the floor area, but also to protect the lower floors.

Visit the pretty village of Cancon, the hazelnut capital of Lot-et-Garonne, with a magnificent panorama!

Place des arts in Monflanquin
Place des arts in Monflanquin
The Augustinian Quarter
Monflanquin Protestant Temple

The Augustin district and the Protestant Time which is the former Augustins Chapel

Place for retirees
The charming "Place des Retraites"!


The walk in Monflanquin is very pleasant, you stroll from alley to alley, there are shops and craft shops, particularly around the place des arcades, but also everywhere in the city. Do not hesitate to browse in all the small alleys to come across architectural nuggets or small cafes/shops/restaurants. Monflanquin is a gourmet place, in this part of the south-west, we love gastronomy. Duck in all its forms (confit, foie gras, duck breast…), hazelnuts, prunes… Indulge yourself in the restaurant or at the small producers!

We wish you a pleasant discovery of Monflanquin.

An andronne between two houses
A door between two Monflanquin houses

An andronne between two houses and a portet also between two houses, but above an alley

Under the arcades of Monflanquin


Back to "Culture and Heritage"

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