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Photos of southwestern France


Main street of Cordes sur Ciel

Visit of the main street of Cordes sur Ciel

The village of Cordes is built in length and climbs the mountain that overlooks the valley. The beginning of the main street is more popular than the heart of the village. The houses are simple and composed of 2 floors. The lowest part of the village is located at 159 meters and the highest at 320 meters. Several fortified walls had to be built to protect the villagers. To enter the bastide, on the main street, you pass under a medieval door. It is the last enclosure built, the heart of the village in height being the oldest part.

Medieval village of Cordes sur Ciel

Medieval village of Cordes sur Ciel

The village of Cordes sur Ciel is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful villages of the south west of France. The village is ranked among the most beautiful villages in France. Cordes was built in the 13th century, 1222 exactly by the Count of Toulouse, Raymond VII. It constitutes what is called a bastide, that is to say a new town. The bastides respond to population movements and constitute economic, political and religious poles. They become places of great power. Cordes sur Ciel is located in the Tarn department at 85 km from Toulouse. The specificity of Cordes is that the village is built on the relief dominating the valley of the Cérou.

The medieval village of Cordes is splendid and entirely pedestrian. To enjoy it, you can leave your car at the foot of the village and take the main street which will take you to the heart of the bastide. During your visit, you will take narrow streets, lined with relatively imposing stone houses compared to the size of the village.

Picture of an old medieval house of Cordes sur Ciel

Picture of an old medieval house of Cordes sur Ciel

The houses of the village of Cordes are very different from each other. While most are of medieval origin, some have Gothic architecture, others are simpler and massive as in the picture below. In the historic heart of the village of Cordes, you will see many sculptures, windows in the form of stained glass. Most houses are built of stone, but some are half-timbered or timber-framed. The size of the houses is the symbol of the power of the owner. Among the known ones can quote the House of the Grand Ecuyer, the House of the Great Falconer. Each year a medieval festival revives the village according to the rites of yesteryear.

Fortified door of Cordes sur Ciel

Fortified door of Cordes sur Ciel

The village of Cordes sur Ciel has seen a significant increase in its population to reach almost 3,000 inhabitants at the end of the 19th century. The village now counts 950. To respond to this progress since the Middle Ages, it was necessary to construct several fortified fortifications to protect little by little the new inhabitants. Some doors have a clock as in the picture below. Historically, the whole was well protected. There are still traces of a medieval castle. To enjoy the village of Cordes, I invite you to come early in the morning. This village is very touristy and many groups walk the streets of the village from 9:30 am. (© Photos by )

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