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Things to See in the Languedoc:   Historic Towns:   Villefranche-de-Conflet  ( The Name in Occitan. Clich here to find out more about occitan.   Vilafranca)


Wonderful walled town, fortified since 1090.

The walls have been continually reconstructed so that some parts date from medieval times and others from the time of Napolean III. Most of the serious work was, of course, done by de Vauban in the 17th Century. Vauban's brief was to defend the new border with Spain, and this was a key position with views down three valleys leading from the high Pyrenees ( The Name in Occitan. Click here to find out more about occitan.  Pirenèus,  The Name in Catalan Pirineus,  The Name in French Pyrénées).

A fortress overlooking the town, the Château-Fort Liberia, connected to the town by a concealed passageway, is also well worth a visit. It is another Vauban masterpiece.

One of the "plus beaux villages" in France.

Villefranche is also the departure point of the Petit Train Jaune (The Little Yellow Train) which runs through the Pyrenees to Latour-de-Carol. Advertised as a journey you will never forget. Tel: 04 68 04 85 05




Click here for more about Maréchal de Vauban Next.




The original arms (left) reflect the town's alliegence to the crown of Aragon. The new French arms (right) reflect the town's astensible new alliegence to the French Crown after the Treaty of the Pyrenees.

Expression héraldique : "d'azur à l'étoile de huit rais d'argent, accostée de deux tours du même, soutenue d'une devise ondée aussi d'argent, surmontée d'un écusson du même chargé de trois fleurs de lys cousues d'or, l'écusson bordé du même et surmonté d'une couronne royale fermée aussi d'or, le grand écu à la bordure d'argent chargée de la devise VILLA FRANCA DE CONFLENT en lettres capitales de gueules." .Au dessous du blason se trouve les mot "Non Commovebitur".

The two towers reflect the town's military role as a frontiere fortress. It lies above a river (la Têt). The arms of Aragon attest its attachment to Catalonia "qui ne fut jamais brisé tout au long de l'histoire".




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