Only 30 kilometers from Lyon, Villefontaine is an island of greenery in the heart of the Isère region. Known in the region for its brand village "The Village", the Isère town has much more to offer than just commercial brands. Rich of an architectural but also and especially natural heritage, the city will seduce you thanks to its numerous assets. JOOKS takes you to discover Villefontaine thanks to the audio-guided tours proposed by the city, whether you are on foot, by bike or in a wheelchair!
A small village of just over 450 inhabitants in the 1960s, Villefontaine became part of the new town of L'Isle-d'Abeau in 1968, following a decision by the State. It is now part of a new agglomeration that extends over the municipalities of L'Isle-d'Abeau, Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, Vaulx-Milieu and Four.
Villefontaine's population increased and its infrastructure multiplied. Today, Villefontaine is one of the most dynamic towns in the Nord-Isère region, with roots rooted in 2000 years of history.
Although its development only began in the mid-1970s, Villefontaine's history spans several centuries, as evidenced by the historical sites and monuments visible in the commune.
Traces of human activity dating back to Antiquity and the Middle Ages have been found on the territory of Villefontaine, but the vast majority of the town's historical heritage dates from later periods. The present church, for example, dates from the 18th century and replaces an older building. A remnant from the medieval period has survived in the form of a sundial, which has been integrated into the new building. For the more curious, don't hesitate to go around the church to admire the tympanum of the portal and its mosaics.
In the heart of the Vellein park, the green lung of Villefontaine, your steps will lead you to the castle of the same name. It was built in the 18th century, on the remains of an older building and, although it is now in ruins following a fire, it remains an important testimony of the historical past of the town. It is indeed the only one of the three seigniorial buildings to have survived the French Revolution, unlike the castles of Vaugelas and Layet.
An emblematic monument of the city, the Quatre-Vents pavilion is also the most enigmatic. Indeed, nothing allows us to date the building nor to determine its function. To further thicken the mystery, a necklace of human teeth was found at the foot of the monument. According to historians, this necklace dates from the 19th century and would have belonged to a tooth puller who used it as proof of his know-how. Labelled "Patrimoine en Isère", the Quatre-Vents pavilion is certainly worth a visit!
Although the town has been heavily urbanized since the 1970s, nature is still omnipresent in Villefontaine. Urbanization has been spaced out so as to preserve green and natural spaces. Numerous infrastructures have been developed so that everyone can enjoy this important natural heritage. Your walk will take you on footpaths and discovery trails, to meet a biodiversity of great wealth. You will also discover the ponds of Fallavier, Vaugelas and Saint-Bonnet, real jewel cases of preserved nature, where the fauna and the flora offer a spectacle changing with the seasons.
The Domaine de Vaugelas was also chosen as the site for the "Jardinons ensemble" collective garden. This meeting and conviviality place has been managed by the CCAS of Villefontaine since 1998 and has more than 200 varieties of vegetables and flowers. Each year, more than 4 tons of vegetables are grown and shared among the participants. A real little corner of paradise that you can see during your walk.
Born in 1985, the Domaine de la terre is a unique architectural ensemble in Europe. It is a social housing district built in "pisé", or rammed earth, whose purpose is to revive a regional tradition - earthen construction - but also to experiment with sustainable urban planning and architectural techniques. Classified since 2008 as one of the 45 treasures of sustainable development in the Rhône-Alpes region, this initiative fits perfectly into the natural setting of the town and the ecological transition process imposed by climate change.
Beyond its historical heritage and its natural dimension, Villefontaine is a resolutely modern city turned towards art. Since 2016, the town has offered a festival dedicated to street art, Les Roches en couleur, and has an urban art exhibition hall, the Bloc .
The street art route proposed by the municipality will allow you to discover several works along the streets, some of which are by recognized graffiti artists such as Besss, Le Môme or Kalouf. Some frescoes have been made in collaboration with the inhabitants, like the one in the Carpentier tunnel. An opportunity to discover the Isère city in a different light.
Find all the routes of the city of Villefontaine on the JOOKS application.
Run, walk or cycle with JOOKS, from the Étang de Fallavier to the Château du Vellein!