The bastides, or fortified towns, of south-west France were the new towns of the Middle Ages. The very first, Cordes, was founded early in the thirteenth century, and others were built and developed right up to the seventeenth century, affording their people both protection and prosperity. The architecture of the bastides is as stunning as their rural settings. It is characterized by elaborate double rings of fortifications, huge arcaded market squares, chequerboard urban layouts, and exquisite combinations of wood and stone pillars and vaulting. James Bentley gives an authoritative and entertaining history of the hundred most important bastides, their origins, their fate during France's many wars, daily life within their walls and their unique architectural style. He also provides a gazetteer of all the 200-plus remaining examples, with maps and aerial photographs.
Twenty of one of the most attractive communities in Tuscany are included in this volume. Travelling from north to southern, it describes, initially the towns with considerable Etruscan and Romanesque attributes, after that the walled towns of main Tuscany, complied with by the seaside as well as thermal communities of the south.
Identified with fine a glass of wine, elegant food and great living, Burgundy is additionally a land of exceptional style as well as captivating villages. Most of these old neighborhoods stand next to the leisurely rivers that wend their method via the duchy – the beginnings of the Seine, the Yonne, the tributaries of the Loire as well as the Saone. As well as close to these rivers lie forests, pastures as well as the greatest vineyards on the planet.
Full with a map as well as traveler's overview, "The Most Beautiful Villages of Burgandy" is the definitive intro to one of the most captivating areas in the western world.