Villefranche de Lonchat

The origin of this bastide is contested. Some believe it was founded in 1287 by Philip IV (known as "The Fair") while others hold that it was created by Jean de Grailly

The town hall of Villefranche de Lonchat
The town hall of Villefranche de Lonchat
View of the Château de Carsac
View of the Château de Carsac
The church of Lochac
The church of Lochac
The Chapel
The Chapel

It was built on a former priory and very quickly became a castellany on which the parishes of Villefranche and Minzac depended. The plans of the bastide appear to have only comprised a single central axis. Yet, in spite of this, it had a castle and a walled enclosure.

Lochac Church can be traced back to when the bastide was founded even though it is unexpectedly located outside the village. It was restored in 1463 by monks from Sauve-Majeure Abbey, who built a crypt there. The church is of intermediate style, somewhere between Romanesque and Gothic. Inside this building, you can see a 12th-century baptismal font, a 17th-century vermeil chalice, a 17th-century canvas and a 19th-century Man of Sorrows.

Saint Anne's Church was built in 1305 to provide the village with a sanctuary. It was damaged during the Wars of Religion but was subsequently well restored. It comprises a single nave with three square bays.

The bastide has a Local History Museum, which traces the different periods of human settlement. The Romanesque period is remarkably-well illustrated through Minzac's 12th-century baptismal font, which is a listed Historical Monument.
A significant part of the museum focuses on the economic and professional activities of the region in past centuries: exhibiting tools used by coopers and weavers as well as many objects from the old Montpeyroux pottery works. A number of documents evoke the foundation of the bastide (wax seals belonging to King Edward I of England, Marshal Jean de Grailly and his descendants) along with the neighbouring châtelains Michel de Montaigne and de Maltecoubon.
A room dedicated to medicine reminds us that this profession has been practiced in Villefranche since 1669. The museum is located on the 1st floor of the town hall, housed in an eloquent building erected in 1850.

Every summer at the end of July, the centre of the village hosts the Villefranche de Lonchat Cantonal Festivities. This authentic, popular and friendly event, celebrating rural life magnificently, is enjoying growing success... today, the whole region comes along to join in the fun!

Just a stone throw from the village, you'll appreciate the swimming lake of Gurson

Church of Notre Dame
Church of Notre Dame

Church of Notre Dame

Local History Museum
Local History Museum

Local History Museum