Villeneuvette, Herault: tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Villeneuvette (Languedoc-Roussillon region)

Visit Villeneuvette (Languedoc-Roussillon, France)

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Villeneuvette is an attractive village close to Clermont-l'Herault in the Herault department of Languedoc Roussillon. Originally built as a factory to produce cloth for the king and to house the workers and earning its label as a "Manufacture Royale".

Villeneuvette was originally built as a Royal cloth-making factory for King Louis XIV in the 17th century. King Louis' finance minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert set up a number of initiatives to improve industry in France and this was one of his projects. Cloth from Villeneuvette was used in the uniforms of King Louis XIV armies amongst other things and production continued up until 1955.

Exploring Villeneuvette

VilleneuvetteThe village is pedestrianised apart from cars belonging to residents and there is a car-park just outside the gates.

The entrance is through a stone gateway between buildings and the large engraved sign above the gate used to read "Manufacture Royale" but was changed to "Honneur Au travail" (Honour in Work) by the Republic.

Through the gate and the village opens out around the main street - Rue Colbert in a grid-like plan. With the exceptions of a few 'Maisons de Maitre' presumably for the factory bosses, the houses are very regular in size and appearance and all have the light green shutters common in the Languedoc Rouissillon region.

Inside the houses (though the houses are private now and not visitable inside) the downstairs floor has high ceilings allowing  the room to be used for cloth weaving and upstairs are two rooms which were the living quarters for the workers. When the factory closed the houses were sold and now belong to about 50 different families.

As well as the houses the village has a church which was built in the 18th century and has some interesting paintings by Jacques Pauthe inside, many of which have a message such as "God blesses work"!

Paved streets, fountains and flowering shrubs all add to the attractiveness of the village. The village is surrounded by walls with three gateways through them. Very attractive to see now but originally there to survey the comings and goings of the workers! There is a pleasant walk you can do in the woods around the village.

Villeneuvette is now classified as a "Zone de Protection du Patrimoine et du Paysage" in recognition of its originality and the importance of its heritage.

Places to visit nearby

Villeneuvette is close to the lovely Cirque de Mourèze with its hundreds of differently shaped dolomites. Various clearly marked walks through the unusual landscape allow you to really explore this lovely area.

The Lac du Salagou is a huge lake whose edges are an unusual deep orange/red in colour making the lake very picturesque.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Herault guide and the Languedoc-Roussillon guide.

See also:

Map of Villeneuvette and places nearby

Visit near Villeneuvette with France This Way reviews

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

Address: Villeneuvette, Clermont-l'Hérault, Lodève, Languedoc-Roussillon, 34800, France || GPS: latitude 43.6111, longitude 3.4003

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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

The French version of this page is at Villeneuvette (Francais)