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An ancient fortified commercial town
The Belfry gate, in the background of this photo, is one of the three gates dug into the ramparts that allowed people to enter or leave the town of Besse. The town was built in the 12th century at the crossroads of the Limagne plain and the Sancy massif, and the lord of the Tour d’Auvergne granted its free town status in 1270. Besse then became a rich and prosperous commercial town, and in the 15th century, surrounded itself with fortifications. In the 16th century, the town became part of the Royal Domain thanks to Catherine de Médicis, heiress of the lords of the Tour d’Auvergne.
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