Villeneuve-sur-Lot was founded in 1253 by Alphonse of Poitiers, the brother of St Louis. Enjoying a favourable location straddling the Lot river, it was once an important trading town and one of the most powerful bastides in southwest France.
The town has preserved a number of architectural reminders of its rich past, including the 13th-century Pont Vieux (old bridge), which forms a picturesque scene with Notre-Dame du Bout du Pont chapel; Place Lafayette, a central square edged with arcades (cornières); and Pujols and Paris gates, remains of the ancient fortifications. More recent in style is the beautiful Sainte-Catherine church, which was consecrated in 1937. This brick- and stone-built Byzantine-Romanesque-style building boasts magnificent 14th- and 15th-century stained glass windows taken from the old church.
Stock up on fruit and vegetables at the traditional market every Tuesday and Saturday morning in Place Lafayette!