The original village built in the 11th century was conquered in 1209 by Simon de Montfort, at the time of the cathar crusade. The town then expanded quickly until June 1289 when it was destroyed by a catastrophic flood. Rebuilt in the form of a “French bastide”, it suffered during the Hundred Years’ War and from the plundering of the “free companies”.The heart of the town was then fortified at the end of the 14th century, its architecture is typical of the French bastide of the south-west, with its large central square and grid-pattern street plan. The stalls – sheltered in the 15th century by oak-timbered galleries – form the longest arcade in France. Its picturesque half-timbered houses and the “Maison des Consuls” wonderfully conjure up the atmosphere of the Middle Ages and Saint Maurice cathedral – in the southern Gothic style has the largest nave in France.

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