GILIBERT ABBOT OF FLARAN
In 1151, 12 Cistercian brothers who had come from Escaladieu with their Abbott settled near the Baïse in order to found their Abbey, Flaran. 123 years later, Gislibert II, Father Abbott, ensured that his monastery would endure by creating a bastide, Valence.
In participating in the creation of Valence in 1274 the Abbott was following a recommendation from Saint Bernard himself : to do what is necessary to surround the monastery by ensuring the establishment of villages.
This made it possible to find the manpower to clear and cultivate the land obtained from donations and legacies of which there were many. These monks, spiritual builders and creators, also used itinerant artisans and workers as well as those from the local area (roofers, sculptors, qualified artisans...) so that the diversity of regional styles highlights the extraordinary strength and vitality of the work.
One Landlord was particularly generous : Forton de Thil: donating his Domaine du Hillet over time and moreover, he became a monk himself in 1180.
In less than fifty years, and from the beginning of the 13th Century, the Abbey possessed a vast territory which stretched:
On the Left Bank of the Baïse right up to the heights of Cassaigne, of Busca, of Mansencôme, and of which the main farms were La Madeleine, La Bourdille, Le Gibra, Higaro, Le Moutouet, Le Hillet, Le Mian, Saint-Capraisy, Polignac and other lands extending as far as Gondrin.
On the right Bank, all the territory of Valence, Le Coulleou, Trouillon and later Lauzit. In addition, lands were later acquired in Le Condomois, La Lomagne, and as far as the gates of Auch.
In order to avoid a shortage of workers (lay brothers), many cistercian Abbeys, like Flaran, founded bastides on their land.
LE SECRET DE LA BASTIDE :
Gislibert : « Our Abbey is at risk of being attacked by brigands. One can never know what will happen and we aren’t soldiers ! We need to be prepared for the worst and go for shelter within the fortifications of the nearby bastide. » Word 2/11 : Answer.
Go and find the Town Crier under the arcades on the Square !