Bretenoux travel guide

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Visit Bretenoux (Occitanie, France)

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Bretenoux is a town near the northern edge of the Lot department of south-west France, on the Cère river and south of Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne.

Explore Bretenoux

France This Way review: Bretenoux is only a small town, but has a charming historic centre and a pretty view along the river, so a visit is recommended

Bretenoux has existed as a group of houses since at least the 9th century, and the town was founded in the 13th century. The centre of the town has preserved its original 13th century layout, with a main square opposite a church surrounded by a grid of parallel streets.

Bridge across the river Cère in Bretenoux

The main square in Bretenoux (the Place des Consuls) is very pretty, with the original arcades and medieval houses around the edges of the square.

This centre is overlooked by a beautiful manor house called the Maison de Consuls, which has a charming round tower. Part of this manor are now used as the town hall for Bretenoux. In the streets around the Place des Consuls you can see lots of medieval houses, including another house with a round tower.

The Church of Saint Catherine is across the road from the Place des Consuls and was built outside the town defences. The church originally held the relics of Saint Catherine, a Saint highly venerated in the medieval period.

The church has been restuctured and transformed several times during the last few centuries. The oldest parts we can see today are in the eastern part of the structure, and date from the 15th century, while the facade was rebuilt in the 18th century and includes classical design elements.

The stained glass windows in the church were added in the early 20th century, and the frescoes on the ceiling were added in 1920: among the subjects of these paintings are one of Joan of Arc, one of Saint Catherine in Bretenoux, and another of the "pénitents bleus" and their chapel, in the Place des Consuls of Bretenoux.

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The whole town was originally surrounded by fortified walls, and although most of these have since disappeared there are various places in Bretenoux where you can still see sections of these fortifications, often now incorporated as the walls of houses.

In one of these sections of defensive walls you can see one of the four entrances that once provided access to the town centre through the ramparts.

The Cère river crosses the centre of Bretenoux from north-east to south-west. There are lovely views along the river in both directions from the bridge (of recent construction): to the north you can see a small island and some pretty houses, and to the south you can see a weir and the historic town centre.

On the far side of the river there are several picnic tables and lots of trees, so it is a good place for a picnic in Bretenoux centre. There is also a large car park here.

medieval houses in Bretenoux town centre

Attractions nearby

Close to the town you can visit the Chateau of Castelnou-Bretenoux (although it shares the name of the town of Bretenoux, the castle is actually part of the neighbouring commune of Prudhomat).

Among other highights in the area around Bretenoux you can visit the pretty villages of Autoire and Loubressac, both classified among the most beautiful villages of France, and the Gouffre de Padirac, one of the most impressive cave systems in France.

You can find more travel ideas in the Lot guide and the Midi-Pyrenees guide.

See also: 

Photos of Bretenoux

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  • arcades
  • bridge
  • church-exterior
  • church-interior (1)
  • church-interior (2)
  • maison-des-consuls
  • river (1)
  • river (2)
  • tower
  • town-centre (1)
  • town-centre (2)
  • town-centre (3)

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Hotels in Bretenoux

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Map of Bretenoux and places nearby

 
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Visit near Bretenoux with France This Way reviews

Chateau de Castelnau-Bretenoux

Chateau de Castelnau-Bretenoux

The Chateau de Castelnau-Loubressac is an imposing medieval castle built in red stone

Chateau de Castelnau-Bretenoux guide
Loubressac

Loubressac

Both the unspoiled nature of the village and the beautiful views make the small village of Loubressac a great pleasure to visit

Loubressac guide
Autoire

Autoire

Autoire is very small but very pleasant to explore, while nearby you can admire thescenery of the Cirque d'Autoire

Autoire guide
Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne

Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne

The town of Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne you can explore the attractive old town and walk along the Dordogne river

Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne guide
Saint-Cere

Saint-Cere

Some of the highlights in Saint-Cere are rather hidden away, so take time to explore the back streets of this medieval town

Saint-Cere guide
Carennac

Carennac

There are numerous architectural highlights and attractive buildings in Carennac, one of the 'most beautiful villages of France'

Carennac guide

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

Address: Bretenoux, Figeac, Midi-Pyrenees, 46130, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 44.915, longitude 1.83917

Plan your visit to Bretenoux, Lot

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

Market days in Bretenoux, France

Regular market(s) are held in Bretenoux each Tuesday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Bretenoux (Francais)

 
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