Villas in South West France – Holiday Rentals Lauzerte, near Tournon d’Agenais
If you are looking to rent villas in South West France in picturesque surroundings, the bastide town of Lauzerte is considered one of the country’s most beautiful villages. Here you can take a trip back in time and meander the ancient cobbled streets, admire the historic stone buildings in Place des Cornières (the village square), or explore the surrounding hills and countryside.
Although relatively small, Lauzerte has a population of 1,500 people which swells during the tourist season. Perched on a hilltop it is a picture postcard destination which attracts many artists who settle here. If you are choosing cottages or farmhouses to rent in South West France there’s plenty of relaxing activities to choose from, from browsing the Saturday morning market stalls, to admiring the medieval buildings once owned by wealthy merchants, or finding out more about rural French life at one of the summer festivals.
Kingfisher Holidays – Family Rental Villas near Tournon d’Agenais – Click here to book our cottages, farmhouses or gites with pool in
The History of Lauzerte, near Tournon d’Agenais
Lauzerte was a stopover point on the pilgrimage route to Compostela, and rose to prominence in the 12th century when it became a fortified town with 200 houses. It rapidly expanded when the square and more dwellings were built, and the Place du Château was where the castle once stood. Lauzerte’s strategic position gave it economic importance and some of the medieval houses you see today, clustered around the church of Saint Barthélemy and square, were the homes of wealthy merchants.
During the Hundred Years War fierce battles took place as Lauzerte was occupied by the English and French. In the 16th century it was under control of Protestants, then Catholics, and hundreds lost their lives in the battles. However, despite its bloody and turbulent history, Lauzerte continued to thrive and this was largely down to its position on the pilgrim route and its agricultural importance, as the surrounding farmland provided wheat to Cahors.
Tourist Attractions in Lauzerte
The main square is an attraction in itself and is considered one of the finest examples of its type in the area, with buildings dating from the 15th to the 18th centuries. Here, if you look carefully enough, you can also find a work of art – an uplifted paving stone, created by artist Jacques Buchholtz in the 1980’s.
Another attraction is the Pilgrim’s Garden, which reflects the time of the pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela. The garden is designed like a board game and visitors walk a path of squares and numbered panels. It’s free to visit and you can get dice and a guide from the tourist office.
If you enjoy visiting old churches, the Church of Saint Barthélemy, which stands at an unusual angle, has its roots in the 13th century, and there are lots of things to admire here, including painted panels, and the Baroque altar. Also of interest is the Chapel of Saint Sernin du Bosc which is on the pilgrim route. The last service was held in the 1970’s and it was later named as a building of historic interest.
If you are renting family villas near Lauzerte, South West France, all sorts of festivals are held throughout the summer including the Flower Market in April, the Marché aux Potiers, featuring pottery and ceramics, in July, and the celebrated Lauzerte Nights in August. The latter is a festival walk for children and adults with open air theatres, live music and performances, and contemporary works of art on show. The evening is wonderfully visual, with pictures projected onto the walls and pavements.
Farmhouses, Villas and Cottages near Lauzerte
Castans Haut, based 6km from Lauzerte, is a beautiful, five bedroom converted Quercy stone barn, with four shower rooms and a magnificent pool set in 11 acres of land. It’s actually two adjoining properties, so you can either rent it as a whole, or the two properties can be rented separately by closing the internal door. One of the properties sleeps six, and the other sleeps four.
The grounds include an alfresco dining space with a barbecue, and to keep the children – and adults – amused, it also has a boules area. There’s plenty of outdoor space for the children to run about or play ball games.
Villas in South West France near Tournon D’Agenais – Click here to see the availability of our South West France holiday lettings.