Brantome, Aquitaine: tourism & sightseeing
Visit Brantome (Aquitaine, France)
Brantome is an idyllic village located to the north of Perigueux on the banks of the River Dronne.
The town is known locally as the Venice of Perigord. Wooded cliffs loom up behind the beautiful Benedictine abbey and the river Dronne runs around the village in front of a Benedictine Abbey. There is a small weir and a lovely and unusual right-angled stone bridge to add to the beauty of the scene.
Parks and gardens surround much of Brantome, where the traditional Perigord houses are built of the local stone with tiled roofs. Added to this there is a fabulous troglodyte cave with scenes of the Last Judgement carved in the stone and nearby is the Dolmen of Pierre Levée.
The Abbey in Brantome has its origins in the 8th century. A Benedictine abbey, it was founded by Charlemagne who allegedly donated the relics of Saint Sicarius, one of the children massacred by Herod.
The original abbey was destroyed by Vikings and then rebuilt in the tenth century and again in the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. It was then radically restored in 1850 by the architect Paul Abadie, a student of Viollet-le-Duc, so the abbey buildings we see today span a period of almost 800 years.
One of the oldest parts is the bell tower which dates officially to the 11th century but may be even older and is one of the oldest in France.
Inside Brantome abbey there is an elegant staircase and you can visit the monks dormitory with its roof in the shape of an upturned boat.
There is also a permanent exhibition of ‘dessins mediumniques’ by Fernand Desmoulin (drawings done when apparently under the influence of a spiritual experience).
Behind the abbey at the foot of the cliff are the troglodyte dwellings used by the original monks and in here is the cave with the remarkable sculpture of ‘The Last Judgement’.
During a walk around the rest of the small village of Brantome you can see various examples of medieval and renaissance architecture. The town also boasts a selection of good restaurants including the Michelin starred Moulin de l’Abbaye.
Market day is Friday in Brantome
Canoeing through Brantome gives you a different perspective on the town and is always a popular way to enjoy the setting and the surrounding countryside.
One of the popular attractions near to Brantome is the Grotte de Villars, one of the most impressive cave systems in the Perigord region and the only to have both prehistoric paintings and rock formations.
The castle and village at Bourdeilles are on the Dronne river only seven kilometers south of Brantome and on the River Cole to the north you should certainly visit the picturesque village at Saint Jean de Cole.
The countryside to the north of the town are within the protected area of the Regional Natural Parc of the Perigord-Limousin.
Map of Brantome and places to visit
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Address: Brantôme, Périgueux, Dordogne, Aquitaine, 24310, France || GPS: latitude 45.365, longitude 0.6497
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Abbaye Saint Pierre (Brantome): religious monument
- Chateau de Puyguilhem: national monument (10km)
- Abbaye Cistercienne de Boschaud (Villars): religious monument (10km)
- Saint-Jean-de-Cole: most beautiful village (16km)
- Ancien Prieuré de Merlande (La Chapelle-Gonaguet): religious monument (17km)
- Abbaye Notre Dame (Chancelade): religious monument (18km)
- Nontron: recommended detour (18km)
- Perigueux: town of art and history (20km)
- Perigueux cathédrale Saint Front (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (21km)
- Eglise Saint Etienne de la Cité (Perigueux): religious monument (21km)
Market days in Brantome, France
Regular market(s) are held in Brantome each Friday.
A seasonal market is held in Brantome on Monday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Brantome (Francais)