Bastide de Grenade: a new medieval town

Grenade
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Bastide de Grenade: a ...
While you are in Haute-Garonne, stop in Granada to discover the unique bastide built in Hauts Tolosans. This place, steeped in history, is a must-see! As you stroll through the alleys, you will step back into the past of this medieval city. You will be able to observe its hall, which is an exceptional witness of the architecture of the time, but also of the importance of trade and economic life.

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The Bastide de Grenade, born from an alliance

In the south-west, a bastide is a new town built on a regular geometric plan with streets drawn with a line (a small rope). It is made up of square or rectangular molds, which are what today would be called city blocks, divided into lots of similar size.

The Bastide de Grenade was built in 1290 on the initiative of Eustache de Beaumarchais, Sénéchal du Roi (King's officer), and Pierre Alfarici, of the Cistercian Abbey of Grandselve who owned these lands. The objective of the Seneschal was to sit royal power, while qu'Alfarici him, was the increase in revenues thanks to the various events (fairs, markets, etc.) Together they signed a contract paréage ensuring their equal rights.


The good idea Do you like walks in places steeped in history? Come and visit the châteaux within a 30-minute radius of Toulouse, for real château life!


Moulon central de Granada

The heart of the activity is at the central moulon

The Hall of Granada

This majestic hall dates from the 13th century it classified Historical Monuments. This is one of the oldest and largest French medieval halls (1800 m²) Some of the timber is original, cut in 1292. It occupies the central mill of the Bastide and was designed to be the commercial and administrative center of the new town. Looking up, you will be able to see, in the framework, the common rooms of the consuls, the first town hall of Granada. You will understand, the bottom, meanwhile, receives fairs and markets. Moreover, the best way to immerse yourself a little in the authenticity of the place is to come on Saturdays to enjoy the traditional market. Take the time to contemplate the floors, you will find that you can no longer access them, because the staircase that served them has been removed, the floors are no longer used.


Granada market  Granada market

The incredible framework and the consul rooms, upstairs


Outside, a belfry was added in the 17th century, its function was defensive. As in a watchtower, the guards watched the surroundings from this largely elevated vantage point.


Belfry

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Walk in Granada

Now that you are in the heart of the bastide, stroll through the alleys to appreciate the heritage of the bastide of Granada.


The good idea For a fun break in the open air, do not hesitate to go to the nearby Labyrinthe de Merville. Its maze, its Enigma course and the visit of its castle will seduce you and make you have a good time.


The Church of Our Lady of the Assumption

The Church of Our Lady of the Assumption was commissioned by the Cistercian abbey Grandselve and was built in the 14th and 15th centuries. We recognize the style of buildings from the southwestern era, from Toulouse brick (fairground brick). Brick constructions became widespread at this time, because many fires pointed out the dangerousness of wooden buildings. Likewise, the octagonal bell tower will perhaps remind you of those of Toulouse which served as inspiration. Admire the twin bays of this 3-storey tower.


The Church of Our Lady of the Assumption
The Church of Our Lady of the Assumption  The Church of Our Lady of the Assumption

The church, and its pretty garden

Private mansions

In the 17 th and 18 th centuries, many mansions were built, especially in the Rue Gambetta. These are the notables of the city who built these beautiful homes. In this street, go to n ° 1, 19, 29 and 34 (non-exhaustive list). Their owners were respectively Capitoul de Toulouse (elected member of the Capitoulat de Toulouse = Toulouse municipal council at the time!), King's Prosecutor, Marshal of the Empire and Farmer General (Treasurer General of France and First President at the Toulouse Finance Office). Moreover, the latter's home is so beautiful and well placed that it housed the Town Hall.


Private Mansion of the General Farmer

In the foreground, the private mansion of the Fermier Général (former Town Hall)


Small peculiarity: The large brick portal that you will see in this rue Gambetta was the entrance to M. Lasserre's hotel. It stood out from all the others because it overlooked the courtyard, while usually the garden was at the back.


Portal overlooking a superb garden Portal overlooking a superb garden

The gate opening onto a superb garden

The former Ursuline convent

The Ursuline convent dates from 1626. It was even the most important religious building in Granada, as it included a chapel, a church (Sainte-Ursule), a cemetery and a garden with a dovecote. The 60 nuns present educated little girls. They live on the smallholdings of which they are the owners, and during the Revolution, they are expelled. The building first becomes a military hospital, then it is divided into several owners.


The former Ursuline convent  The former Ursuline convent

The building formerly housing the Ursuline Sisters of Toulouse

The former Capuchin convent

The Capuchin Tower is clearly visible. It overlooks the roofs of the city. This convent was founded in 1603. The monks who reside there show austerity and poverty, which is why they live mainly on donations from the Grenadans. Here again, the Revolution turned everything upside down! The monks leave the place. The Town Hall moved there, then a pickle cannery, and finally a school which currently occupies the premises.


Capuchin Tower

The Capuchin Tower, vestige of the convent of the same name

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Thus ends the discovery of the country house of Granada. If you like history and beautiful buildings, head to the charming Château de Laréole nearby!


Did you like this report? Find others on the Toulouse Pyrenees Guide Blog. We are on social networks, find the Facebook page of the Toulouse Pyrenees Guide and the Instagram account @guidetoulousepyrenees


Report and photos produced by Charline Prod'Homme, La Plume Digitale, for the Toulouse Pyrenees Guide


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