There are few countries in the world that can rival with France for the beauty of its rural architecture (Italy may be one of them). The French are proud of their heritage and do everything they can to save it and enhance it.
An independent association called Les Plus Beaux Villages de France was even founded in 1982 to promote small and picturesque French villages (max. 2000 inhabitants) of quality heritage. As of 2012, 157 villages were listed. Here is a selection of the best among them.