Station Verte de Vacances, royal bastide, Villeréal is a county town with 13 communes. It is located just north of the department of Lot-et-Garonne, on the border of the Dordogne. Its population is about 1400 inhabitants and nearly 3500 on the whole of the canton. In this region of verdant hills of the Haut Agenais, Villeréal is located in the rich valley of the Dropt, river whose sides are bordered by several bastides: English on the right bank such as Beaumont or Monpazier, French on the left bank as Castillonnès or Villeréal.
Quality of life, conviviality and traditions characterize the Pays Villeréalais. The landscape has certainly changed over the decades but nature has kept this privileged setting of the Haut-Agenais Périgord. The economic data of the region show a diversity and richness of the rural space. Hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking, swimming and fishing await you... You will be able to appreciate in passing the accent of the soil and its gastronomy, the perfume of its lands, the beauty of its sites and monuments.
It was in 1265 that Gaston de Gontaud-Biron was obliged to grant to Count Alphonse de Poitiers (brother of Saint Louis) a land situated in his Montlabour forest where the new bastide of Villeréal was to be erected in just four years, Limits of jurisdiction were fixed by letters patent as early as March 1269. Its regular plan perfectly corresponds to that of the bastides: eight main streets intersect at right angles; In the center, surrounded by corners, a large square square, where a large-scale hall was later installed (end of the 14th century), which was endowed with a rare cobblestone floor. The church, slightly breaking with the rigid plot of the borough, true fortress, dates from the thirteenth century. These two monuments are today classified.
Thus, created by the will of a prince of royal blood, the bastide of Villeréal was born and its blazon forever will be "azure three golden towers two and one"... and if Villeréal n ' There were never any fortifications, there were excavated around them enormous ditches called "moats," which, roughly speaking, occupied the site of the present-day exterior boulevards; They were filled in the eighteenth century but the existence of these moats, about seven meters wide, made Villeréal a strong place despite the absence of ramparts.
- Historical Monument.
- Constructed (rather rare) at the same time as the bastide, between 1265 and 1269. Its large dimensions, its buttresses make it a true fortress, its two square turrets linked by a rounded crenellated way. It served two purposes: Place of worship and ultimate refuge. It was surrounded by a deep ditch, and to penetrate it it was necessary to cross a drawbridge. Its tympanum presents sculptures unfortunately damaged during the wars of religions (Catholics / Protestants). One of the towers, the one on the left, contains a spiral staircase lighted by loopholes and the other has at its top two rooms. One of them used to serve as a prison while in the other there are placed the mechanisms of the clock which are of a very beautiful invoice and which have just been repaired. The two "windows" of the tympanum are, it is believed, the only proofs of the existence of the drawbridge.
- Within it, the church contains some beautiful specimens of wooden saints carved on both sides of the choir. On each side, four chapels are sheltered in the armpits of the braces. The vault was damaged several times during the wars of religions and was restored and enhanced accordingly it is not of period like the choir. The vaults of the lateral chapels are of origin and therefore of the thirteenth century.
- It must also be known that the church communicated with a fort several times attacked and then completely razed in 1794 (two hundred years ago) and that it was never rebuilt and of which there remains no vestige except the fact of Namely that it housed, at the very beginning, the bailiff, charged with administering the bastide.
- Classified as a historical monument, it rests on pillars of oaks that were found and squared on the spot and then put to soak for about thirty years in the river the nearby Dropt, 150 m from the old moat... This explains in large part The fact that it was erected a little later than the bastide.
- Its dimensions are consequent: a square of 30 m of side, a splendid and imposing framework and, very rare thing, a floor which at the time was used by the most direct direct representatives of the kingdom then that served as town hall, baillage And of jurade.
The pillars, originally, lay on the bare ground. In the long run, as the base deteriorated, they were laid on stones and this operation lasted for a long time because the last to be consolidated were there. As for the tiles it is also very recent.
- It was here that every villager aged 60 to 65 could see her first films. Indeed a professional amateur of cinema furrowed the whole department and projected the first silent films of Charlot. At Villeréal its passage was announced by the showman at each street corner (drum roll and notice to the population). A large screen was set up under the hall, against the wall of the staircase in general, and the spectators (who brought their chairs) sat down, their backs facing the modern cafe. Currently the floor houses a local radio in fm which emits to Bergerac and Agen.
- Pottery workshop, decorative and utility blue lace earthenware (glazed and enamelled earthenware, earth jewels, blue lace tiles).
- Fabric, textiles.
- Restoration of old watchmaking.
- Fat duck breeding.
- Goat breeding.
- 18-hole rustic golf course.
- Tennis (2 tennis courts, tennis school).
- Hiking: Villeréal's walkers organize regular outings on Sundays. Departure at 14h under the hall. Information at the tourist office.
- Cycling trips: every Sunday morning and twice a week in summer.
- Folk dances.
- Horse riding (riding lessons, riding lessons during the school holidays).