Villefranche -de- Lauragais ( Occitan: Vilafranca de Lauragués ) is a commune with 4140 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2011 ) in the department of Haute- Garonne in the Midi-Pyrénées region.


Villefranche -de- Lauragais is located in the cultural landscape of Lauragais, about 38 km ( driving distance ) away in the south-east of Toulouse. A further 24 kilometers to the southwest lies Castelnaudary. All of these cities are located along the Canal du Midi and are both on the A61 and over the railway line Toulouse- Narbonne interconnected.


In the 19th and in the first half of the 20th century, the population fluctuated between 2,000 and 3,000 inhabitants. The significant population growth in recent decades is due to the proximity to Toulouse and the comparatively low rents and land prices.


The steady growth of the population of Villefranche is an indicator of the positive economic development of the city. Due to the proximity to the city of Toulouse and relatively low land prices, there is an industrial park ( industrial zone ) in the suburbs.


The town of Villefranche was in 1252 by Alfonso of Poitiers ( 1220-1271 ) the pilgrim path to Santiago de Compostela ( Via Tolosana ) was founded as Bastide against the potential resurgence of the Albigensian movement ( cf. Avignonet- Lauragais ). Alphonse of Poitiers was the younger brother of King Louis IX. (1214-1270) and by the marriage of his brother with Joan of the Pious (1220-1271), the only heir of the powerful county of Toulouse, the French king hoped for territorial and political power gain. In fact, the marriage remained childless, and after the death of both spouses in 1271, the county Toulouse fell to the French crown.

During the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) between England and France Villefranche was set on fire in 1355 by the troops of the ' Black Prince ' ( Edward of Woodstock ); the city walls were pulled down.


  • The church, founded by Joan of the pious and completed in 1263 Notre- Dame-de- l'Assomption is a three-nave brick building in the style of tolosaner Gothic - Natural stone does not exist in around Toulouse and had to be brought transported from afar hence what enormous costs would have caused. As a result, remained limited to the use of sandstone on the capitals inside the church. The added in 1364 monumental, two- and two octagonal side turrets stabilized bell gable above the otherwise - with the exception of two wall niches and a pip- frieze of slanted bricks - completely unadorned western facade, however, is a masterpiece of brick architecture and at the same time a bastion of Catholicism against every form of heresy; he dominates the actual church building doubled. The bells consists of six bells - three smaller (top) and three medium-sized (below). The bell tower of the church is recognized as a monument historique since 1927.
  • The Château de Barelles dates from the 18th century and is privately owned. It was recognized in 1990 as a monument historique.
  • In the perpendicular street pattern of the former Bastide you can still find some old half-timbered houses ( Maisons à colombage ) whose compartments are filled with bricks.
  • A market hall ( hall ) is located in the center of the small town near the church.