The Bastide: new medieval cities.
During the era of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the demographic and economic expansions were so great that the rulers needed to reevaluate the politics of settlements and the organization of the land. Certain lords imagined establishing a totally new style of village, and thus was born the Bastide. The principal idea was to create an economic center far from the lords’ castles, and to build homes according to a precise plan, on land more or less equal in size. All of the homes, built upon a network of streets which crisscrossed perpendicularly, surrounded the central plaza which was reserved for the market.