HISTORICAL ROUTE OF THE BASTIDE NEUVE*
PLACE DU 11 NOVEMBRE
This square bore various names such as, place de l'Eglise (church square), place nouvelle (new square), Grande place (main square), place Alsace-Lorraine*, place aux grains .
It was designed and built between 1843 and 1849, the western and eastern houses being built over very regular stone arches. The town council at the time was looking for a large piece of land to have a corn exchange built, which was never completed. Instead, the galleries under the arches were used for the trade of grains. Hence its name : Place aux grains.
However it soon was known as Place Nouvelle (new square) in opposition to Place Vieille near the town hall. At the turn of the 20th century there was a war memorial in its centre(Souvenir Français), commemorating the victims of the1870 war between France and Prussia and also those of France's colonial conquests . It was a token of rising nationalism and as a consequence the square was renamed Place Alsace-Lorraine in 1911.
Thanks to its imposing aspect, the new square added a fine feature to the town. It testified both of the vitality of the market town in the 19th century and its transformation into a proper little town in the second half of the 19th century with population reaching 2000 inhabitants then.
North of the square you can see the « mansion » of a local personality at the Belle Epoque : Dr Labordère. On the east side you find the former hôtel-restaurant Ripa Alta founded by chef Maurice Coscuella in 1958. With its Michelin star, Ripa Alta was one of the top places to treat yourself to South West cuisine, all through the second half of the 20th century.