Sauveterre de Rouergue is a royal, 13th-century bastide, built around the largest arcaded squarein Rouergue (60 by 40 metres) and bordered by woodframe houses.
It is one of the most intact fortified towns in southwest France. Sauveterre is classifed, additionally, among the Most Beautiful French Villages.
Distinct Architecture of the Bastide
It was in 1281 that 60 families settled in this
royal bastide, safe from suffering at the hands
of brigands and the caprices of the lords of
The checkerboard town plan is perfect and the
exceptional dimensions of the Place of Arcades
speak volumes about the dwellings of this new
mediaeval city. Sauveterre has been fortified
since itwas founded, is still encircled by ramparts
and pierced by four gates looking upon the main
streets, all of which converge at the central
square. Visitors are encouraged to profit from
a paid visit, guided by lecturers who will introduce
their charges to an understanding of the inventive
urbanism exhibited by the bastides.
also learn that Sauveterre, which had become
the principal location of one of the bailiff's
courts of Rouergue, was granted a charter conceding
numerous freedoms to its inhabitants, hence
its name Sauveterre, from salva terra ("safe
They learn that Philippe the Bold once reabsorbed
the town into the Crown territories.
artists have chosen to live here:
painters, sculptors and print makers. Agricultural
activity is equally significant and diversified:
cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, field crops, seeds
and tobacco. Sauveterre's production of mother-raised
calves prevails over its competitors.
Equally reputed, though less famous than le Laguiole,
is the knife of Sauveterre-de-Rouergue, which
was dispatched to Geneva in the
Sauveterre preserved its vocation as the town
of active and animated exchange
others most beautiful villages