Monpazier in the south of the Dordogne is an excellent example of a medieval bastide town. The town is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France.

Monpazier is situated high up and boasts remnants of its thick defensive walls that helped to protect the town. Two of its arched gateways are still intact. Inside the walls the town takes the typical form of a bastide town with a grid of criss-crossing streets and a central square with a covered market hall. The houses are built in different styles and there are lots of interesting windows.

The first market hall in Monpazier dates back to the 13th century and was located in the centre of the main square “La Place des Cornières”. In the 18th century it was moved to its current position at the side.

In the central square at Monpazier you can still see the old tin buckets in the market hall which were used for measuring cereals such as barley, rye, oats, walnuts and chestnuts on market days. They contain 2, 4 and 8 bushels (1 bushel = 12.5 litres). The measures were also used to pay taxes.

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