Paunat travel guide

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Paunat is a small village in the Dordogne to the west of Le-Bugue and north of Limeuil. It has a pretty centre and a large abbey. It is in the Perigord Pourpre part of the Perigord.

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France This Way review: Paunat is a small village but has a pretty centre and a large abbey-church. If you are in the area it is worth stopping and having a walk through the village.

The village of Paunat grew up around its church, the eglise Saint Martial, which has its origins in the 8th century. It has had a chequered history. It was built in the 8th century and ransacked in 849 and then by the Normans in 860.


The church was then restored in the 10th century and destroyed again in the 11th. It was rebuilt in the 12th century with the addition of its bell tower-keep but weakend during the Hundred Years War.

In the 14th century the abbey-church had a religious population of 16 but in the 15th century the church was taken over by English troops and converted into a garrison. Unfortunatel this resulted in the partial destruction of the nave.

In the 16th century the church was pillaged by the Huguenots. By the time of the French revolution the church was largely in ruins but when it looked like it was about to fall down completely in the 20th century it was made a historical monument and restored.

Local legend has it that the church was built in the first place when the staff of a pilgrim took root and the church was built at this miraculous site. The abbey church was originally surrounded by monastic buildings but these no longer exist.


Walk round to the back of the abbey-church and there is a pretty garden which is overlooked by the terrace of the attractive restaurant located here.

The centre of the village has a small stream running through it which you can see running below one of the houses in the village. It also feeds the lavoir in the centre of the village which is where the villagers did their washing in medieval times.

Walking up the path above the church you will see an interesting building with arched arcades which is called 'La Recette' and dates to the 12th century.

There are three well signed walks that set out from the centre of the village and provide an opportunity to explore the attractive countryside. These are 6, 7 and 10 km long.

On the edge of the village you can visit the pretty gardens of the Chartreuse du Colombier.


Attractions nearby

The pretty village of Tremolat which sits near to a deep bend in the Dordogne river known as the Cingle de Tremolat is nearby. Also worth visiting is the village of Campagne which has a beautiful castle in its centre surrounded by a park and gardens that are free to explore.

Nearby Limeuil is one of the 'most beautiful villages of France' and has an excellent river beach as well as a pleasant park and gardens called the 'Jardins Panoramique de Limeuil' which have great views over the village and the confluence of the rivers Dordogne and Vezere.

Explore elsewhere in the Perigord Pourpre. You can find more travel ideas in the Dordogne guide and the Aquitaine guide.

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Visit near Paunat with France This Way reviews

Chartreuse du Colombier

Chartreuse du Colombier

The Chartreuse du Colombier is a charming traditional stone house with a pretty garden open to visitors.

Chartreuse du Colombier guide


Limeuil is classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France, and has a popular river beach where the Vezere and Dordogne rivers join

Limeuil guide


Trémolat is a very small but attractive village, close to the scenic highlight at the Cingle de Tremolat which has far-reaching views across the river

Tremolat guide
Le Bugue

Le Bugue

The town of Le Bugue, on the Dordogne river banks, is very well situated to explore the region

Le Bugue guide


Campagne is a pretty village with a splendid castle in the centre and lovely grounds with an attractive garden walk.

Campagne guide
Cadouin abbey

Cadouin abbey

Cadouin abbey was built in the 12th century in the roman style

Cadouin abbey guide

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

Address: Paunat, Sainte-Alvère, Bergerac, Aquitaine, 24510, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 44.9047, longitude 0.8589

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