Villefranche-de-Rouergue Travel Guide

  • Chartreuse St.-Sauveur in Villefranche-de-Rouergue
    Chartreuse St.-Sauveur in...
    by Beausoleil
  • Chartreuse St.-Sauveur in Villefranche-de-Rouergue
    Chartreuse St.-Sauveur in...
    by Beausoleil
  • Chartreuse St.-Sauveur in Villefranche-de-Rouergue
    Chartreuse St.-Sauveur in...
    by Beausoleil

Villefranche-de-Rouergue Things to Do

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    by Beausoleil Written Aug 20, 2014

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    Chartreuse St.-Sauveur is a monastery started in 1084 that has been through many changes and is now peacefully behind the hospital and seems to be associated with a retirement home. We visited the Chapel, Chapter Room and Small Cloister then walked around to the very peaceful Large Cloister.

    We saw few tourists today and they were all French. This town seems to be off the beaten tourist path so if you are looking for untouristed destinations, this would be a good choice.

    Chartreuse St.-Sauveur in Villefranche-de-Rouergue Chartreuse St.-Sauveur in Villefranche-de-Rouergue Chartreuse St.-Sauveur in Villefranche-de-Rouergue Chartreuse St.-Sauveur in Villefranche-de-Rouergue Cloister Walk at Chartreuse St.-Sauveur
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    by Beausoleil Written Jul 25, 2012

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    The Chapelle des Penitents Noirs is on the edge of the Old Town area of Villefranche but an easy walk from nearly anyplace in town. It is open from 10 AM til noon and again from 2 PM til 6. We arrived about fifteen minutes before opening so walked around that area of Old Town exploring. We returned to the chapel at 2 PM and it was still locked. We waited in the tiny park opposite until we saw a woman enter. We quickly followed and she was opening the chapel. She greeted us very abruptly and was rather brisk. We were put off but soon a cheerful younger lady arrived and made us feel very welcome. We finally made our way into the museum area and followed instructions upstairs to view the chapel.

    As we walked out into the balcony, the lights came on and the magnificent chapel jumped out at us. Wow! We decided it was worth any aggravation and I started snapping photos. The ceiling is painted completely and magnificently by a local artist, probably in the 1600s. The altar is stunning. It is huge for the small chapel, 18th century, done in gold leaf and has scenes from the Passion of Christ in all the panels.

    We soon heard a voice from downstairs ask how we liked it. We looked over the balcony to the grumpy older woman and told her we loved it; it was magnificent. She immediately became our best friend and gave us our own private tour. We eventually discovered she wanted more than anything to visit New York City. She said she loved Liza Minelli and it occurred to me when she said it that she looked exactly like her so I said as much. She was delighted and admitted she had done Minelli impressions in nightclubs in Spain.

    All in all it was a fun and educational experience . . . on many levels.

    Hours vary wildly depending on the time of year so check the web site below for open times.

    Chapelle des P��nitents Noirs ceiling Scene from the altar The altar Chapelle des P��nitents Noirs Chapelle des P��nitents Noirs
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    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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    by Beausoleil Written Jul 23, 2012

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    The church is central to the Old Town and is on the Place named for it. The market square in front is surrounded by tall buildings with arcades on the street level. Thursday is market day and the most fun if you can be there on Thursday morning.

    The church was started in 1260 but took 300 years to complete. There are marvelous carvings inside including a very modern cross created by a pupil of Zadkine referred to in the church literature as, "Geneviève an American in Paris was the pupil of Zadkine and it is in 1957 when she(it) exposè this cross to the big Palace." If anyone can shed light on the last name of Genevieve, I would appreciate it.

    Organ in Notre Dame The modern cross by Genevieve, the American Notre Dame Carvings on the choir stalls Notre Dame
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Villefranche-de-Rouergue Restaurants

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    by Beausoleil Updated Mar 15, 2014

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    Ed ordered kirs to celebrate my birthday and we received an amuse bouche of two cheese pastries and two salmon patés on toast. Fun!

    During the meal a cat wandered into the restaurant and walked from table to table making friends and cadging food. The waitresses said he wasn’t the restaurant cat, but they seemed happy enough to have him there. He was a cutie and very polite. He didn't beg, just sat at your feet looking cute. He was more than happy to take any offerings though.

    Favorite Dish: Ed got the 19 euro menu and I got the 25 euro menu terroir. My salad included walnuts and foie gras. Ed ordered the fish and I got the lamb. Both were excellent. We each got a different cheese for our cheese course and both were very good. Mine was a goat cheese from Rocamadour. We ended with a dark chocolate mousse that was scrumptious.

    It was a warm, friendly place for a birthday lunch and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a couple blocks up from the cathedral and on a peaceful little square so people-watching is fun from the terrasse.

    The web site is only in French. For English use the link at the bottom of the page. L'Assiette Gourmande

    L'Assiette Gourmande Restaurant Restaurant kitty by choice
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    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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