The small bastide town of Bretenoux was founded in 1277 by the seigneur of Castelnau. One of the most northern bastide towns in France, it is built in a square grid pattern alongside the river Cère.
In the heart of the town is the charming cobbled market place with arcades still remaining on two sides. The remains of the town walls and one of the four gates are still visible.
Not far away is the imposing chateau of Castelnau Bretenoux, taken by siege in 1159 by Henry II Plantagenet and held until the end of the Hundred Years war when it became once more the property of the barons of Castelnau. A visit to the chateau and its village is highly recommended. Guided tours are usually in French only.
A Compostelle pilgrim path from Auvergne to Rocamadour passes through the village before heading to the small hamlet of Félines with its tiny chapel dedicated to St Marie, next to what looks at first sight like an imposing barn which was in fact the former parish church of Bretenoux up until 1808.
Market: On Tuesday and Saturday mornings in the cobbled square.