This type of Aquitaine house is larger and more elegant than the classic farmhouse often called a mas. The shape of the house is square or rectangular, with a tiled almost flat roof and walls made up of stone and sometimes covered with stucco or whitewashed.
Like traditional maisons de maitre, bastides tend to have a really practical layout. As mentioned above, the name "bastide" itself originates from the name given to certain fortified mediaeval towns built in the 13th and 14th centuries in south west France like Villeneuve sur Lot (few more examples) in Aquitaine.
A key feature of many of these towns was a practical Roman grid-layout. Although most of these bastides are located in the Aquitaine and Midi-Pyrénées regions of France, in terms of property, the word is used to describe a style of detached stone-built property or manor house found throughout the south of France.
Some bastide houses also have archways on the ground level leading to garages or verandas (reminiscent of the archways or arcades which were common in medieval bastide towns).
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