La faille de Villefranche resides within the Aveyron département and is a very important geological feature of the region. Its occurrence is a result of the fact that it sits on a fault line and was once subject to a massive earthquake which destroyed over 600 houses.
The town is located on the bank of the River Aveyron, which flows through the town. The river is crossed at the Pont des Consuls, a stone bridge that was built in the 14th century and is well worth visiting. It also gives excellent views of the surrounding countryside.
Despite being a very small town, it has plenty to offer visitors. It has some beautiful medieval architecture and a bustling market square in the heart of the city centre that is often crowded with local producers selling their products.
In addition, it has some imposing Renaissance stair-towers and some gorgeous Flamboyant mansions with mullioned windows, carved doors and sculpted facades. These are all listed as Historical Monuments.
Place Notre-Dame, the main market square, is lined with buildings and features a stunning collegiate church with a tower that is 58m high. The interior of the church is a delight.
The town has two cloisters and a monastery, both of which are beautiful. There are stained glass windows and interesting woodcarvings on stalls around the cloisters.
Aside from its lovely medieval and medieval-style architecture, the town also has a good range of shops and restaurants. It has a railway station that is served by trains to Toulouse and Figeac.
It is a great base for exploring the southern part of the Aveyron department and there are lots of things to do here. The nearby village of Belcastel is a particularly lovely place to visit, and the gorges of the River Aveyron are also well worth a trip.
Other attractions in the area include the Chartreuse Saint-Sauveur (a lovely monastery, just a short drive from the town) and the pretty village of Najac which is a great place to spend a day in the hills.
This part of the Aveyron valley is very scenic, and the river has a beautiful flow that creates beautiful natural bridges. It is also a fantastic place to cycle in the summer, as it has many walking paths and bridleways that can be explored.
During the 13th century, the Counts of Toulouse started several free cities, granting them privileges and custom duties exemptions in order to attract new settlers. These towns became important in the south of France, especially as they were able to provide an alternative to the more traditional towns.
Alphonse de Poitiers, the brother of Saint Louis, King of France, inherited the County of Toulouse in 1234 and founded the new town of Villefranche on an old village called La Peyrade. He was a great leader and was a successful entrepreneur.
Although the population was largely decimated by the plague of 1628, the town slowly recovered and was restored to its former glory with the help of its newly established church and the founding of a cathedral. It was also boosted by the growth in the area’s agriculture.