A mediation programme adapted to disabled visitors

Municipality of Villefranche-de-Conflent - 2012-2013


  • Surface area within the walled city: 4,5 ha
  • Number of inhabitants: 240 (INSEE census 2011)
  • Contracting parties: commune ofVillefranche-de-Conflent
  • Administrator subscribed: commune of Villefranche-de-Conflent (city walls), private administrators (fort Libéria, Cova Bastera)
  • Implementation: July 2013

A strategic site on the Spanish border 

Located at the confluence of the Têt and the Cady valleys, Villefranche- de-Conflent is surrounded on all sides by high mountain peaks. The medieval urban enclosure was reinforced by Vauban and covered with a slate roof, completed by construction of a casemated cave, la Cova Bastera, and fort Libéria. The three major edifices cover one another and are a perfect example of Vauban’s genius.
These sites, built in the aim of making access to them difficult, are now open to visitors. The Villefranche city walls can be visited for a fee, the walled city is open to all.

Audio-guided discovery tours of the fortifications are available
Two audio circuits in mp 4 format, translated into four languages are offered to visitors, one for people with hearing difficulties, and the other for people who are mentally handicapped. To promote fortified heritage in the same way as other local heritage, 50 audio-guides were introduced in July 2013, accompanied by an introductory booklet. These are free of charge for all handicapped visitors to the city walls. On site, reception staff attended a training course on how to use these guides.
This tool is also aiming to:

  • obtain the Tourism & Handicap label in the long term;
  • enrich its mediation product by offering tools designed for the general public and foreign visitors.

Keen to use this new tool to aid in the development of its tourist product, the commune created a new circuit open to the public in 2014. Offered for hire, these audio-guides were created using the existing content which was simply adapted and the number of audio-guides increased.

Finance plan

Project cost: 29 000€ excl. taxes (80% subsidised)


Positive aspects

The creation of these audio-guides enabled the commune to increase its visibility to handicapped visitors and to forge an exemplary
status on a regional level.


  • Don’t forget the after-sales service and maintenance;
  • Involve handicapped people from the start of the project;
  • Ensure the correct digital formatting of the material provided;
  • Offer material that is easy to use.