Date and Time (Original) – 2023:07:31 14:47:09
On the third day after arriving in France, July 31st, I toured several beautiful villages, with Villeréal being the second village I visited.
On this day, after first visiting La Romieu, I had lunch at a McDonald’s on the outskirts of the city of AGEN and then headed to Villeréal in the Lot-et-Garonne department. Incidentally, just to the north of Villeréal is the Dordogne department. The Dordogne and Lot-et-Garonne are home to many of France’s beautiful villages, and during the medieval times, numerous towns called “bastides” were built, offering charming landscapes still prevalent in many villages today. This is also why these villages are chosen as “the most beautiful villages in France”.
In fact, many villages in this region are recognized as “the most beautiful villages in France”. On the way from AGEN to Villeréal, I passed near Monflanquin, a beautiful village I visited 10 years ago. The route from Monflanquin to Villeréal was the same route I had taken, but in the opposite direction, a decade ago. Further beyond Villeréal lies the village of Monpazier, which I had headed to from Monflanquin 10 years prior. Strangely, I didn’t notice its existence at that time.
I arrived in Villeréal around 2 PM. After parking a bit away from the center, I immediately walked towards the village core. The central square featured a prominent building called Les Halles, which is characteristic of the bastide villages of this region. The square was surrounded by numerous restaurants and shops, and there was also a town hall and a tourist information center. At the tourist center, I got the latest guidebook of beautiful villages.
Later, I visited the large church in the village. Comparing it to the size of the village, the church felt remarkably grand.
For a detailed description of the village, please refer to the following.
Villeréal is a historic village located in the Lot-et-Garonne department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwestern France. As with many villages in this part of France, it is steeped in history and is characterized by its picturesque charm and unique architectural features. Here are some key points about Villeréal:
- Bastide Town: Villeréal is one of the many “bastides” that can be found in the southwest of France. Bastides are medieval fortified towns, which were primarily established in the 13th and 14th centuries. They were usually laid out in a grid pattern with a central square, which served both as a market place and a focal point for the community.
- Central Square: The central square of Villeréal is typical of bastide towns and is surrounded by covered archways, known as ‘cornières’. These archways often house shops, cafes, and restaurants, making them lively spots for residents and visitors alike.
- Church of Saint Bartholomew: This is a notable landmark in the village. Built in the Gothic style during the 13th century, it has seen various modifications over the centuries.
- Market: Villeréal is known for its lively Saturday market, which attracts visitors and locals. It’s an opportunity for people to buy fresh produce, local crafts, and other goods.
- Cultural Events: Throughout the year, Villeréal plays host to various cultural and traditional events that reflect the rich heritage and vitality of the region.
- Surrounding Area: The landscape around Villeréal is typical of the Lot-et-Garonne department – rolling hills, orchards, and farmland, interspersed with forests and rivers. It’s an ideal setting for those who love outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, and horseback riding.
- Tourism: Villeréal, with its rich history and stunning architecture, attracts many tourists, especially during the summer months. Its proximity to other popular destinations in the region, such as Monflanquin and Monpazier, makes it a favorite stop for those touring the bastides of the Dordogne and Lot-et-Garonne.
- Local Cuisine: The Nouvelle-Aquitaine region is renowned for its gastronomy, and Villeréal is no exception. From foie gras to prunes, the region’s culinary offerings reflect its agricultural abundance and traditional cooking methods.
If you ever get a chance to visit Villeréal, you’ll likely be enchanted by its timeless beauty, welcoming community, and the sense of history that pervades its ancient streets and buildings.