A Bastide is one of between 250 and 300 planned villages and towns built in the 13th and 14th centuries in south west France (Gascony, Aquitaine, Languedoc). They share a number of political and economic characteristics, and have many common architectural aspects. They were part of the development away from Feudalism, as the farmers who chose to move to the new settlements became free men rather than vassals of a lord. They were generally planned and built as a single unit. The new inhabitants were granted a lot to build a house, garden land, and farm land on the periphery of the settlement. The new inhabitants were often required to build a house within a specified period, such as a year.
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