Villefranche de Conflent with an impressive past
En route for Cerdagne, the town, an essential stop-over for pilgrims on the way to St Jacques de Compostelle, must not be missed. Its appearance has allowed it to be in the 50 most visited places in France. Founded in the 11th century by Guillaume Raymond of Cerdagne, Villefranche is one of the 17 “Ville franche” towns of France, meaning “free towns”. Its prestigious past as the administrative, military and economic capital of the Conflent have given the town an exceptional architectural heritage. Today the town is as it was at the end of the 17th century. The ramparts surrounding the town, which can be visited all year round, display the remarkable stratification of military building techniques: Curtain walls with walkways and stairs parallel to the walkways for easy access, from the 12th century; Monumental néoclassic gateways from the end of the 19th century; 12th century gateways and square towers; Rounded angle or flanking towers of the 13th and 14th centuries; and 14th century arrow slits and cannon holes. Surrounding the Romanesque church of St Jacques and its richly decorated interior, the narrow streets with craft shops, bustle with the same happy sounds as they did in the King of Majorca’s day, when rich merchants and drapers passed Jewish scholars or the men at arms from the garrison. Guided tours and cultural events (exhibitions, conferences etc...) allow the visitor to fully appreciate the true value of the town.
For more information:
Office du Tourisme
2, Rue Saint Jean
66500 Villefranche de Conflent
Tél : 04 68 96 22 96 - Fax : 04 68 05 61 68
E-Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org – email@example.com
photos Villefranche de Conflent ....