Visit Villefranche-de-Rouergue (Midi-Pyrenees, France)
Villefranche-de-Rouergue is in the Aveyron department of the Midi-Pyrenees, 40km west of Rodez. The town is unusual among the 13th century bastide towns in the south-west of France in that it is very largely uncommercialised and is very much a 'typical French town'.
Perhaps this is because it is a little off the beaten track and there are few other large towns close by, although this is also perhaps the cause of a bit too much new development on the edges of the town.
There are two main streets in the historic centre town, both attractive, that both lead to the main square and are lined with medieval houses in stone or half-timbered. Other smaller alleys radiate off from these in the centre.
Among the many medieval houses there are some that are particularly noteworthy, including the Maison Gaubert on Rue Marcellin-Fabre, the Maison Combettes on Rue du Sergent Borie and Maison Armand on Place Notre-Dame.
The square itself, the Place Notre-Dame, is an almost perfect bastide town centre, with intact arcades around the edges of the square, and attractive medieval houses above the arcades.
This main square in Villefranche-de-Rouergue is also on a slope so from the upper corner you can look down on the lower half. The houses surrounding the square are taller than those found in most other bastide towns.
One corner of the square is, to say the least, dominated by the Collegiale Church of Notre-Dame and its oversized belltower and entrance porch - take a look at the 15th century stained glass windows inside the church.
On a smaller scale and also well worth a visit is the Chapelle des Penitents-Noirs. You can also see a 14th century fountain in the Place de la Fontaine opposite the town museum, the Musee Urbain Cabrol.
You should also wander down to the river, and take a look at the old stone bridge (the Pont des Consuls) and the riverfront.
Market day for Villefranche-de-Rouergue is Thursday, and is the liveliest day to visit the town.
The Chartreuse Saint-Sauveur (just to the south out of town on the Gaillac road) is a lovely ensemble of monastic buildings and has two very impressive cloisters (one of them is the largest in France), stained glass windows and some interesting woodcarvings on the stalls among its many features of interest.
Despite the relative isolation of Villefranche-de-Rouergue there is much to enjoy in the surrounding region. Among our favourite places are the picturesque village of Belcastel to the east, and the town of Najac to the south.
Photos taken within 10 km
Tourist classifications for Villefranche-de-Rouergue
Villefranche-de-Rouergue has received the following tourist classifications: recommended detour town (plus beau detour); listed town of Art and History
Address: Villefranche-de-Rouergue, Aveyron, Midi-Pyrenees, 12200 || GPS: latitude 44.351, longitude 2.0369
Map of Villefranche-de-Rouergue & places nearby
Highlights close by
See lots more places to visit nearby and a more detailed map at places near Villefranche-de-Rouergue.
See Midi-Pyrenees and Aveyron (the region and department for Villefranche-de-Rouergue) for more travel ideas...
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Villefranche-de-Rouergue, France
- Najac - town of art and history (15km)
- Beaulieu en Rouergue Abbey - national monument (21km)
- Jardins de Quercy - remarkable garden (22km)
- Belcastel - most beautiful village (24km)
- Gréalou dolmen de Pech-Laglaire (monuments on French pilgrim routes) - heritage site (25km)
- Sauveterre-de-Rouergue - town of art and history (27km)
- Figeac - recommended detour (28km)
- Figeac Hopital St Jacques (monuments on French pilgrim routes) - heritage site (29km)
- Saint-Cirq-Lapopie - most beautiful village (32km)
- Jardin de Paradis - remarkable garden (33km)
Market days in Villefranche-de-Rouergue: Regular market(s) are held in Villefranche-de-Rouergue each Thursday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Villefranche-de-Rouergue (Francais)