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Brantome travel guide

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Visit Brantome (Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France)

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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 with a small weir and a lovely and unusual right-angled stone bridge to add to the beauty of the scene.

Explore Brantome

France This Way comment: parks and gardens surround much of Brantome, a river flows through the centre of the town, the traditional Perigord houses are built of the local stone with tiled roofs and added to this there is a fabulous troglodyte cave with scenes of the Last Judgement carved in the stone: taken together these highlights ensure that any visit to this region must include visit to Brantome!

bridge at Brantome

Brantome Abbey 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. Pick up a map at the tourist office and you can be sure to see all the highlights. As well as the noteworthy houses of the different centuries there is the former civil and military hospital, a tower from the old fortifications and a footbridge that was built under the guidance of the Eiffel workshops in Paris.

Near to the abbey the Renaissance Pavillion is at one end of the Boulevard Charlemagne which stretches along the front of the abbey and just in front of the pavillion is the lovely "Grand Jardin" also known as the "Monks garden" which was originally created for the abbey but is now a public garden.

The town also boasts a selection of good restaurants including the Michelin starred Moulin de l’Abbaye. Market day is Friday in Brantome

charming streets in Brantome

Attractions nearby

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.

You can find more travel ideas in the Dordogne guide and the Aquitaine guide.

See also: 

Photos of Brantome

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • abbey-courtyard
  • balconies
  • boat
  • bridge
  • charming-streets
  • eiffel-footbridge
  • grand-jardin
  • hospice
  • moulin
  • mural
  • pavilion
  • pretty-houses
  • view
  • wall-judgement

Map of Brantome and places nearby

Visit near Brantome with France This Way reviews

Brantome Abbey

Brantome Abbey

Brantome Abbey is an impressive abbey with troglodyte caves in the beautiful town of Brantome.

Brantome Abbey guide
Bourdeilles

Bourdeilles

Close to Brantome, the Chateau de Bourdeilles is quite modest compared with some in the region but a visit is still recommended

Bourdeilles guide
Chateau de Bourdeilles

Chateau de Bourdeilles

The Chateau de Bourdeilles consists of a medieval defensive castle and a Renaissance castle in the pretty village of Bourdeilles.

Chateau de Bourdeilles guide
Chateau de Puyguilhem

Chateau de Puyguilhem

Extensive renovation work at the Chateau de Puyguilhem has brought a new lease of life to this Renaissance style castle

Chateau de Puyguilhem guide
Saint-Jean-de-Cole

Saint-Jean-de-Cole

Saint-Jean-de-Cole is a small but very pretty village with a nice church and beautiful riverside setting

Saint-Jean-de-Cole guide
Nontron

Nontron

Nontron is a quiet town within the Perigord-Limousin Regional Natural Park to the north of the Dordogne

Nontron guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Dordogne

Address: Brantôme, Périgueux, Aquitaine, 24310, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 45.365, longitude 0.6497

Plan your visit to Brantome, Dordogne

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

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)

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