From the sky, the medieval town of Figeac, in the Quercy region, offers a cohesive architectural panorama of red brick houses and buildings. Winding streets lined with delicately sculpted houses and palaces, and small squares hint at a town with high- quality living conditions. Together, this forms an exceptional urban landscape straight out of the Middle Ages.
Nestled in the romantic Célé Valley, Figeac is known for its medieval heritage and a history that is closely linked to that of Jean-François Champollion, the father of Egyptology. While 2022 will see the town celebrating the bicenteneray of hieroglyphic deciphering by its native son, a spectacular urban rehabilitation story which began in the 1980s is being highlighted. Tradition holds that before 1980, Figeac was a sad town, covered in grey stucco, with a deserted centre and unsanitary dwellings. 1978 marked the beginning of an extensive preservation plan for its medieval heritage, which continues today. Both visitors and the people of Figeac love getting together on the Place Champollion. Saved at the last minute, work revealed a vast 13th-century house in the old historic neighbourhood, which has now been entirely restored and converted partly into homes and temporary exhibition rooms for the Champollion museum. Figeac now counts nearly 400 medieval houses dating from the 12th to the 15th centuries, a heritage that offers a pleasant living environment and holds a major role in the region’s business and tourist economies.