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Villefranche De Rouergue Guide


Villefranche De Rouergue is not a typical tourist town. In fact, there's not a craft shop to be seen. It is most likely the closest to a typical French provincial village that you'll find. Situated on the Ayeyron River, it has a small community that lies approximately 37 miles (60kms) east of Cahors and 22 miles (35kms) south of Figeac.

Rue de la Republique, the town's main street, leads to Place Notre-Dame, the most picturesque central square in the region. On the east side of the square stands the church of Notre-Dame, boasting a 60m high bell tower. Its interior features several fine stained-glass windows dating from the 15th century, and carved wooden choir stalls.

On the ground floor all of the town's houses are arcaded, and it's from these shops that a weekly market, held on Thursday mornings, is held. This is when farmers come together with local merchants to sell their goods. The houses are tall and ornate, most notably the Maison du President Raynal.

The centre is quite compact, so getting around on foot is a good option. Public transportation is also available, but limited and consists of local buses operating on limited schedules. Hiring a car online beforehand will ensure that you're able to visit the attractions outside the centre.

At the northern edge of the old town, you'll come to the Chapelle des Penitents-Noirs, with its painted Baroque ceiling, dating from the 17th century. Also worth a visit is the 15th century Chartreuse St-Sauveur: this church is less than a mile from town on the Gaillac road.

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