Founded in 1284, on the banks of the Baïse river, Vianne is one of the rare bastides of the South-West to have preserved its system of fortifications, its ramparts, gates and towers, practically intact today, having resisted the onslaught of time and men to constitute one of the most authentic testimonies of the medieval past of Albret.
A bit of History...
In the 13th century, the south-west of France saw the appearance of many new, often fortified towns: the bastides, cities traced in a single stream (a novo), where people whose interests, although varied, were no less convergent. Wandering populations (Cathars), sudden population growth in a long period of peace, individuals wishing to escape servitude, lords and kings seeking to colonize at the limits of their possessions...
Endowed with a local and democratic political power, they had an economic and agricultural vocation: consuls' houses, markets and fairs had to be gathered in the same place. The geometrical rationality of the Gothic world and its urban planning - orthogonal plan, central square, allocation of plots of land... -, will allow their development.
The new town of Vianne appeared at the end of the 13th century, when Aquitaine had been torn between the kings of France and England since 1152. That year, the Duchess of Aquitaine, Eleanor, married Henri Plantagenet, shortly after being repudiated by Louis VII, King of France. When her new husband was crowned King of England in 1154, becoming Henry II Plantagenet, Eleanor had already deposited Aquitaine in her wedding basket.
Visit of Vianne
In Vianne, one must enter its perpendicular alleys thanks to its regular plan, stroll in the garden of Vianne de Gontaut-Biron in search of the mystery of the She-wolf of Vianne, discover its atypical Romanesque church of Saint-Christophe (XIIth-XIVth) which would be the work of Templars, a church increased by a porch and a Gothic bay and walk along the ramparts of the bastide along the river Baïse.
To see the tombs of the early Middle Ages - 8th century, all around the Romanesque Gate. These rotting tombs (also known as "cubicle tombs") were two stories high: the body was laid to rest on the upper level and left to decompose for the time necessary, then the tomb was reopened, breaking the bones so that they would fall to the lower level. The place was thus available again.
The visit of the 13th century bastide allows to appreciate the Laroche castle, towers and gate towers, bretèches, ramparts, but also the Carolingian Tombs, the Suspended Bridge and the grants, the Canal Bridge, the wash houses, the Lock, the Mill and the Marina on the Baïse river.
Vianne is also...
Vianne is famous for its limestone, which has been used for centuries to build many works and even part of the quays of Bordeaux. From 1928 onwards, it was the work of "mouth-blown" glass that promoted the image of Vianne to the four corners of the world.
During the 20th century, Vianne developed around its industries, its port, and the many craftsmen and women working within its walls. About forty years ago, the glass factory had up to 900 employees, when the commune never had more than 1300 inhabitants.
A festive village, Vianne offers many events throughout the seasons: painting competitions, exhibitions, concerts, theater, flea markets, various walks, Garbure championship, meals of nations ...
Bastide of Vianne
Phone: 0 5 53 65 27 75
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator