Stage 18: July 26, 2018

Trie-sur-Baïse

A Bastide Introduction

trie_overview-sat

The south of France is known for its Medieval towns, or bastides, and while the town of Trie-sur-Baïse may not be the largest or most provocative, its story is illustrative of this unique political, economic, and social structure. In fact, whether watching on tv or traveling with the Tour, Stage 18 of the 2018 edition is essentially a tour of five bastides with another half dozen or so around the route, making Trie-sur-Baïse an ideal place to set the stage, literally. First, a bastide specifically refers to a master-planned Medieval town developed in the southwest of France between 1222 and 1373. Don’t let their Medieval origins fool you, these were complex but essentially commercial developments between landowners and a sovereign power for both mutual protection and, perhaps more importantly, mutual economic gain – simply another form of feudalism but without the castle. In the case of Trie-sur-Baïse, its charter, or paréage, was signed in nearby Duffort in 1322 between four landowners, including the Abbot of L’Escardieu Abbey, 25-kilometers away. With each entity giving up land, only then could the new city be developed, occupants attracted, and taxes imposed on the products traded. With the charter signed, and mutual protection assured by the King of France, Jean de Trie – after whom the town would be named went to work. Knowing that a bastide’s purpose were commercial and defensive for both the sovereign (king) and landowners (i.e. Lords or Abbot), it is easy to see the characteristics of a bastide development in Trie-sur-Baïse, namely perpendicular streets surrounded by agricultural fields for residents to sow and a central marketplace square to facilitate a lucrative trade (and income potential for the town’s patrons and protectors. As the peloton traverses southern France, see how many of these characteristics you see across the landscape.

Aurensan

The Unknown Saint-Mont AOC

saint-mont_tasting

The south of France is known for its Medieval towns, or bastides, and while the town of Trie-sur-Baïse may not be the largest or most provocative, its story is illustrative of this unique political, economic, and social structure. In fact, whether watching on tv or traveling with the Tour, Stage 18 of the 2018 edition is essentially a tour of five bastides with another half dozen or so around the route, making Trie-sur-Baïse an ideal place to set the stage, literally. First, a bastide specifically refers to a master-planned Medieval town developed in the southwest of France between 1222 and 1373. Don’t let their Medieval origins fool you, these were complex but essentially commercial developments between landowners and a sovereign power for both mutual protection and, perhaps more importantly, mutual economic gain – simply another form of feudalism but without the castle. In the case of Trie-sur-Baïse, its charter, or paréage, was signed in nearby Duffort in 1322 between four landowners, including the Abbot of L’Escardieu Abbey, 25-kilometers away. With each entity giving up land, only then could the new city be developed, occupants attracted, and taxes imposed on the products traded. With the charter signed, and mutual protection assured by the King of France, Jean de Trie – after whom the town would be named went to work. Knowing that a bastide’s purpose were commercial and defensive for both the sovereign (king) and landowners (i.e. Lords or Abbot), it is easy to see the characteristics of a bastide development in Trie-sur-Baïse, namely perpendicular streets surrounded by agricultural fields for residents to sow and a central marketplace square to facilitate a lucrative trade (and income potential for the town’s patrons and protectors. As the peloton traverses southern France, see how many of these characteristics you see across the landscape.

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2018 Stage 18

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2018 Stage 18: 43.498321, -0.070210

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