Canton of Villeréal
| Communauté de communes du Pays Villeréalais|
Arrondissement of Villeneuve-sur-Lot
This article contains material translated the French Wikipedia's version of this page.
Villeréal (Languedocien: Vilareal) is a commune in the Lot-et-Garonne department in south-western France.
In 1265, Gaston de Gontaut-Biron gave part of the Montlabour forest to the Count Alphonse de Poitiers, brother of the King Louis IX of France and Count of Toulouse. The new Bastide was built in the next four years and the King signed a contract in 1269 determining the legal statutes of the Villereal. In addition, Villereal was occupied by the English from 1279 to 1453. King Edward I of England signed the “Charte des Coutumes de la Cité” on April 20, 1288, which protected the inhabitants and set the rules of life in the village community. Due to this charter Saturday was fixed as the market day.
Villereal structure follows the basic plan of Bastides. It has 8 main streets, set at right angles, surround the large central square. The “halle”, the main market building is spacious and with an unusual wattle and upper storey. Villereal is a great example for those who believe arcades were not part of the original design. The exterior stairs lead to upper levels of marketplace buildings. Villereal’s exterior stairways would be necessary only if arcades were added to an existing building, since they provided access to the room above the street.