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Villeneuve-Sur-Lot

VILLENEUVE-SUR-LOT, a town of south-western France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Lot-et-Garonne, 22 m. N. by E. of Agen on a branch line of the Orleans railway. Pop. (1906) town, 6978; commune, 13,540. Villeneuve is divided into two unequal portions by the river Lot, which here runs between high banks. The chief quarter stands on the right bank and is united to the quarter on the left bank by a bridge of the 13th century, the principal arch of which, constructed in the reign of Louis XIII. in place of two older arches, has a span of 118 ft. and a height of 59 ft. On the left bank portions of the 13th century ramparts, altered and surmounted by machicolations in the 15th century, remain, and high square towers rise above the gates to the north-cast and southwest, known respectively as the Porte de Paris and Porte de Pujols. On the right bank boulevards have for the most part taken the place of the ramparts. Arcades of the 13th century surround the Place La Fayette, and old houses of the ijth, 14th and 1sth centuries are to be seen in various parts of the town. The church of St Etienne is in late Gothic style. On the left bank of the Lot, 2 m. S.S.W. of Villeneuve, are the 13th-century walls of Pujols. The buildings of the ancient abbey of Eysses, about a mile to the N.E., which are mainly of the 17th century, serve as a departmental prison and penitentiary settlement. The principal hospital, the hospice St Cyr, is a handsome building standing in beautiful gardens. Villeneuve has a sub-prefecture, tribunals of first instance and of commerce and communal colleges for both sexes. It is an important agricultural centre and has a very large trade in plums (prunes d'enle) and in the produce of the market gardens which surround it, as well as in cattle, horses and wine. The preparation of preserved plums and the tinning of peas and beans occupy many hands; there are also manufactures of boots and shoes and tin boxes. The important mill of Gajac stands on the bank of the Lot a little above the town.

Villeneuve was founded in 1254 by Alphonse, count of Poitiers, brother of Louis IX., on the site of the town of Gajac, which had been deserted during the Albigensian crusade.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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