Figeac is a 10,500 inhabitants’ town located in the Lot department - Midi Pyrenees region. This is the sous-prefecture of Lot. At the junction of three natural regions Auvergne, Rouergue and Quercy), Figeac is one of the most flourishing southern medieval towns. Chosen in the ninth century by some monks who came from Conques to settle a small monastery, the town became fast an important commercial area. A rich trade town of the Middle Ages, Figeac is nowadays renowned for its exceptional heritage: narrow and winding streets seduce the visitors and lead them to the centre which tells the story of the town. Thus, Figeac has been part of the France’s network Villes et Pays d’Art et d’Histoire - Towns of Art and History - since 1990.
Figeac offers a contrasting face: it has pointed out its heritage for more than 20 years and the local lifestyle oriented towards land produce (gastronomy, green tourism). But under this appearance, another town takes shape: it is also industrial. Indeed, Figeac has been for a long time at the cutting edge of technology. Figeac is also an importante step while making Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage.
Medieval town built around a Benedictine abbey, Figeac is mainly renowned for its civil architecture and hundreds of 12th, 13th and 14th century houses. Figeac has preserved from the Middle Ages many homes, mansions, urban palaces displaying proudly their elegant architecture: stone carved or half-timbered fronts, inner courtyards, ancient doorways, arcades… Figeac houses’ facades represent eight centuries of civil architecture. The door frames in the town are part of an architectonic shape catalogue: arch, triangle-shaped or round pediments, cornices, entablature… Figeac is an old city where it is pleasant hanging around.
Figeac houses the Musée des Ecritures, a museum devoted to Jean-François Champollion, famous for deciphering the Egyptian hieroglyphics. It is situated in the house where he was born in 1790. You will discover a giant reproduction of the Rosetta stone deciphered by the latter, the story of the Egyptian civilization as well as a collection of objects such as mummy, sarcophagi and funeral objects.
In the Musée du Vieux Figeac, you will be seduced by the collection of minerals and fossils, coins and medals, Quercy life and traditions, Pierre Daura paintings…
As in the whole France, the economic crisis had an effect on property prices in Figeac. In the area, prices in real estate dropped by about 15% in 2008. Thus, some properties underwent a €100,000 cut in value. Prices are reasonable and you can find bargains on the market for less than €100,000. Habitable properties are also quite cheap: beautiful and large houses or apartments are for sale between €150,000 and €220,000. Figeac remains an attractive place to settle especially if you are looking for a house to renovate or if you want to mix business with pleasure by setting up a Bed & Breakfast.
To get updated info about the property prices in the Lot departement, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
Gourmet food: farm raised lamb, goat’s cheese called cabécou, wild mushrooms, duck breast and confit of goose, their foie gras, river fish (pikeperch and trout), not forgetting the local luxuries of truffles - also known as Black Diamonds - and saffron… here are just some of the many items of local produce to taste and enjoy. Another local dish is the stockfish, a sort of cod brandade cooked in walnut oil.
Economy: Figeac, a town of history, is oriented towards the future thanks to its two international aeronautics subcontractors: Ratier-Figeac and Figeac Aero. Even if the town only houses 10,500 inhabitants, it is the second town of the Lot department in terms of population – 160,000 inhabitants in Lot. From an economic and social point of view, Figeac is dynamic and thriving. Working people are especially specialized in trade and industrial sectors, and not much in agriculture.
Monuments: a town rich of history, Figeac has many monuments worth visiting. The beautiful Hotel de la Monnaie, located in the town centre, was built during the 13th century. The Church of Saint Sauveur depicts the life of Christ with its 17th century gilded wooden panels. Finally, you can admire the views over the town from the Church of Notre Dame du Puy. Two main architecture styles are represented in the town centre: Roman and Gothic. Just admire!
Location: Figeac is easily reachable from the United Kingdom: Easyjet flies from London Gatwick to Toulouse and Ryanair flies from Dublin, Liverpool and East Midlands to Carcassonne and from London Stansted to Rodez. Figeac is 163km from Toulouse, 255km from Carcassonne and 66km from Rodez. Inside the town, you can easily travel thanks to the 10 bus routes which go all over Figeac. The railway station leads to Toulouse and Brives amongst others.
A particularity of Figeac is the multitude of modest properties which combine sandstone and timber frame. They are attached the one to the others and constitute a tight network of narrow back-alleys. Windows are often made of stones.
Prestigious properties and chateaux: they are pretty properties holding a large land and floorsize. Exposed stones or painted walls, rustic or modern, each one will find the house which fit their expectations. They are the perfect investment if you are looking to set up a guest house. The numerous bedrooms allow to host several guests and the large land is the best place to install activities sets such as a tennis court for instance.
Contemporary houses: they are large and modern houses with a garden/land planted with trees. Chimney, outbuildings, garage, swimming pool, covered terrace... Most of them are restored, walls are painted and their shape is often rectangular. They are located in quiet places and offer a wonderful view on the countryside. You can find very large house with five or more rooms and decide to set up a Bed & Breakfast or a guest house.
Quercynoises houses: made of stones, they usually have a rectangular shape, a chimney in the hall of the house, shed dormers, exposed beams and stones, wooden shutters, covered terrace. This is a typical kind of property from the Midi Pyrenees region. They are often large and hold outbuildings and a swimming pool. Some may need works but you can also find renovated houses and just put your luggage in your dream house.
Gothic houses: they were built during the 13th and the 14th century. Windows are vast and with an openwork design, decors are mainly inspired by the Cistercian style and composed of pearl rod. The construction is few meticulous and irregular: the thinnest sandstones are used for the façade décor. Some Gothic houses hold an inner courtyard, a tower and have a half-timbered front.
Click here for more info about Midi Pyrenees Architecture.
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