Villefranche-du-Perigord travel guide

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Visit Villefranche-du-Perigord (Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France)

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Villefranche-du-Perigord is a bastide town towards the south of the Dordogne department of Aquitaine, and to the south-east of Monpazier.

A small village called Viel Scieurac stood in the same location before the current town existed: the town we see today was founded in 1261, and is the oldest bastide in the region.

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France This Way review: an attractive if rather quiet little town Villefranche-du-Perigord is however a pleasant place to pass an hour or two wandering the streets, which are more 'lived-in' than those of its famous neighbour at Monpazier.

The town was at its most prosperous between the end of the Hundred Years War (14th century) and the start of the Wars of Religion (16th century), a peace that ended when the town was besiged by protestants in 1577.

Main square in the centre of Villefranche-du-Perigord

You will hardly get lost when you visit the town; there is a main square with all the principal monuments, and a street from the square that has several interesting houses and a few shops. You can park in the car park next to the square (or in the square).

This main square in Villefranche-du-Perigord has a large rather attractive building called the Hotel du Commerce on one side. This building, and the adjacent houses, includes a row of 13th century arcades at ground level, and an attractive balcony along the side. Although much changed over the centuries, these are among the most ancient houses in the town.

On the other side of the square there is a large market hall, with the beautiful carpentry work of the roof supported by three rows of round stone columns. This site has been a market since the founding of the town - one of the rules when a bastide town ws founded was that a weekly market should take place - although the market hall was rebuilt in 1818.

On one side of the hall you can see the containers that were used to measure grains and other products in the 19th century. The market hall is the site of an important local trade in ceps during the summer months.

The last side of the square is where you can see the church. Although the facade of the church appears fortified in places, this is purely decorative because the whole structure was built in the 19th century, on the site of earlier churches.

The inside of the church in Villefranche-du-Perigord is square, which is unusual and is because the owner of the adjacent house refused to sell his house to the church at the time the new church was being built, which forced the unusual shape on the layout.


After looking around the square you can walk down the side street (Rue Notre Dame) that leaves from the square, where you will find a small selection of local shops. There is an interesting huse with a balcony to the right, and rather hidden to the left (you can see it better from the street behind the house) you can see a charming house with a large round tower.

Although Villefranche-du-Perigord was founded in the 13th century, these houses date from the 16th century when the town was a prosperous regional centre.

You can return to the main square along the road that runs parallel to the main street, which also has several authentic stone houses, and you have seen most of the town.

Close to Villefranche-du-Perigord tourist office (in the adjacent street) there is a small museum dedicated to the chestnut and mushrooms that are harvested in the region.

Just below the town there is a small leisure lake with a few benches that would be a pleasant place for a picnic, although the benches had been placed in the sunshine away from the trees when we visited so there was very little shade...

Market hall in Villefranche-du-Perigord

Attractions nearby

The principal attraction of Villefranche-du-Perigord is its location. The surrounding countryside is very attractive - mostly wooded hills and small sleepy villages such as Daglan, Besse and Prats-du-Perigord, and lovely to explore. Among the highlights, Monpazier is perhaps the finest of all the villages in this part of France.

You are likely to want to visit Chateau Bonaguil if you stay near here - it one of the finest castles in France (in our opinion) while the castles at Biron and Gavaudun a little further west are also recommended - all three of these castles are in very scenic locations.

You can find more travel ideas in the Dordogne guide and the Aquitaine guide.

See also: 

Photos of Villefranche-du-Perigord

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Prats-du-Perigord is a small village with an impressive fortified church in the south-east of the Dordogne department

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Chateau de Bonaguil

Chateau de Bonaguil

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Chateau de Bonaguil guide


Saint-Pompon, France is a small village to the south of the Dordogne department with an attractive historic centre

Saint-Pompon guide


Puy-l'Eveque is one of the most picturesque, and most visited, of the villages along the Lot Valley

Puy-l'Eveque guide


Daglan is a small village in the south of the Dordogne department on the river Céou

Daglan guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Dordogne

Address: Villefranche-du-Périgord, Sarlat-la-Canéda, Aquitaine, 24550, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 44.6319, longitude 1.07611

Plan your visit to Villefranche-du-Perigord, Dordogne

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Jardin de la Daille: remarkable garden (15 km)
  • Monpazier: secteur sauvegarde (15 km)
  • Belves: most beautiful village (17 km)
  • Eglise Notre Dame de l'Assomption (Belves): religious monument (17 km)
  • Jardins de l'Albarède: remarkable garden (19 km)
  • Jardin de Conty: remarkable garden (19 km)
  • Eglise notre-Dame de Nativité (Cenac-et-Saint-Julien): religious monument (21 km)
  • Domme: most beautiful village (22 km)
  • Jardins du château de Caudon: remarkable garden (22 km)
  • Jardins de Marqueyssac: remarkable garden (22 km)
  • Jardins de la Bourlie: remarkable garden (22 km)
  • Eglise Sainte-Croix (Beaumont-du-Perigord): religious monument (23 km)

The French version of this page is at Villefranche-du-Perigord (Francais)