Villefranche-de-Conflent

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Villefranche-de-Conflent
Vilafranca de Conflent
A view of Villefranche
A view of Villefranche
Coat of arms of Villefranche-de-Conflent
Location of Villefranche-de-Conflent
Villefranche-de-Conflent is located in France
Villefranche-de-Conflent
Villefranche-de-Conflent
Villefranche-de-Conflent is located in Occitanie
Villefranche-de-Conflent
Villefranche-de-Conflent
Coordinates: 42°35′13″N 2°22′01″E / 42.586825°N 2.366815°E / 42.586825; 2.366815Coordinates: 42°35′13″N 2°22′01″E / 42.586825°N 2.366815°E / 42.586825; 2.366815
CountryFrance
RegionOccitanie
DepartmentPyrénées-Orientales
ArrondissementPrades
CantonLes Pyrénées catalanes
Government
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Patrick Lecroq
Area
1
4.46 km2 (1.72 sq mi)
Population
 (Jan. 2018)[1]
211
 • Density47/km2 (120/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
66223 /66500
Elevation390–1,395 m (1,280–4,577 ft)
(avg. 432 m or 1,417 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Villefranche-de-Conflent (Catalan: Vilafranca de Conflent) is historically a town in the Conflent region of Catalonia, and now a commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France.

Geography[edit]

Locality[edit]

Villefranche-de-Conflent is located in the canton of Les Pyrénées catalanes and in the arrondissement of Prades.

Map of Villefranche-de-Conflent and its surrounding communes

The town's confined site, at about 440 m above sea level, is relatively level ground surrounded by

  • the northeast-flowing river Têt (on the town's west and north),
  • the Cady, which flows north to empty into the Têt (on the east), and
  • a peak (at nearly 800 m), less than 800 m away (on the south).

Transport[edit]

Roads

The N116 from Perpignan on the Mediterranean passes, as a two-lane highway, between the southern town wall and an embankment cut into the high ground to the south; this route continues west into the adjacent Cerdagne region.

Train

The town's train station starts and ends the route of the scenic Yellow train.

History[edit]

The town's access to the French Cerdagne makes it an important strategic location. It was already occupied by Celtic tribes, and then by Romans, Visigoths, Muslim Moors, and then the Spanish. Fortifications around the town were built by the counts of Conflent at the end of the 9th century;[2] in 1374, Villefranche resisted the siege of Jaume III the son of last king of Majorca.[citation needed] In the mid-1400s, when it was a Spanish possession, parts were adapted to allow for firearms.[2] In July 1654, the French captured the city after eight days, and the troops of Louis XIV took Puigcerda from the Spaniards.[citation needed] When the territory was ceded to the French after the Treaty of the Pyrenees (1659), the town became an important French defense against possible Spanish incursions. The town was part of the program of construction and improvement of outlying French defenses, which included building the Fort Libéria on a hill above the village by Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, the military engineer of Louis XIV,[2] and as such is now listed as a World Heritage Site.

The defensive walls of the town remain.

Villefranche-de-Conflent, viewed from the north

Population[edit]

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1968 507—    
1975 435−2.16%
1982 294−5.44%
1990 261−1.48%
1999 225−1.64%
2007 235+0.55%
2012 229−0.52%
2017 213−1.44%
Source: INSEE[3]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Populations légales 2018". INSEE. 28 December 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Lepage, Jean-Denis G.G. (2009). Vauban and the French Military Under Louis XIV: An Illustrated History of Fortifications and Strategies. McFarland. pp. 223–25. ISBN 9780786456987.
  3. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE

References[edit]

External links[edit]