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Saint-Astier travel guide

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Visit Saint-Astier (Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France)

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Saint Astier is a small town in the Dordogne department to the west of Perigueux. It is in the Perigord Blanc area of the Dordogne.

Explore Saint-Astier

France this Way comment: Saint Astier is not a big tourist destination but if you are nearby it has a very pretty riverside area and the town is quite attractive. Pick up a map from the tourist office to see the main sights.

Saint Astier is named after Saint Asterius and there is a statue of the saint dressed in a monk's habit in Place Saint-Astier. Asterius was born in 560 AC near to Neuvic sur l'Isle which is about 10km from Saint Astier.

Saint Astier

The statue is in the square next to the Chapter House which is the most striking building in Saint-Astier. The corbeled turret of the Chapter House was once used as a meeting room.

The window in the turret is decorated with a scallop shell which is the symbol of the Way of Saint James Pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago. There are many pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostela and Saint Astier is on the Vezelay route.

Next to the Chapter House is the arched gateway which was once the entrance to the town. Notice the very narrow Rue Daumesnil next to the gateway.  On the other side of the gateway is the Place de la Republique dominated by the large covered market hall that was built in 1886. It was originally used to store grain.

At the other end of Place Gambetta which leads to the Chapter House is the church which was consecrated in 1013 and extended in the 15th century. The doorway on the side of the church has Romanesque bas-reliefs on either side of the doorway. These pre-date the current church and are thought to come from the building which was previously here.

In 1894 a crypt was discovered under the choir with an altar from the 11th century containing relics thought to belong to Saint-Astier.  The church houses an impressive Baroque organ and concerts are organised throughout the year.

To the side of the church is the Place de la Victoire which was once the graveyard and is now home to a large war memorial topped by a sculpted 'Pollu helmet' representing those worn by French soldiers in World War One.

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On the other side of the church is an attractive street of half-timbered houses which descends to the tourist office called the Maison Labidoire which was part of the 13th century fortified wall.

The road between the church and this street once contained another row of houses and was so narrow residents could shake hands from their windows with the neighbours opposite! This street was removed in 1898.

Last but not least head down to the river. A platform has been built next to the river and from here you can admire the weir, the arched stone bridge and the riverside houses. It is a very pretty spot.

The metal footbridge that you can see is part of the 'Green Cycle Way' that was created in 2015.

A little history

Asterius, for whom the town is named, studied in a monastery at Angouleme and apparently one day and angel told him to go back home and spread his faith. Asterius became a hermit nearby and one day healed the Princess of Saintonge who built a chapel and a house for him.

His reputation grew and pilgrims came to pay homage and many of these settled in the valley next to the river and the village of Saint Astier was created. According to legend when Asterius died all the bells of the village and the surrounding area rang out by themselves.

In 849 the Vikings destroyed the original village but it was rebuilt in 1013 and its church consecrated to Saint Astier. His remains were moved from his grave near to his hermitage to the church.

Saint Astier

Attractions nearby

Saint-Astier is close to Neuvic sur l'Isle, birthplace of Saint-Astier and which is home to the Chateau de Neuvic which is open to visitors in the summer and whose park is open throughout the year.

The beautiful town of Perigueux is very close to Neuvic and has a beautiful medieval old town as well as various Roman remains.

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

See also: 

Photos of Saint-Astier

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  • bridge
  • centre
  • centre1
  • chapter-house
  • church-bas-reliefs
  • church
  • market
  • place-de-la-victoire
  • place-st-astier
  • riverside1
  • tourist-office
  • weir

Map of Saint-Astier and places nearby

 
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Visit near Saint-Astier with France This Way reviews

Neuvic sur l'Isle

Neuvic sur l'Isle

Neuvic is a small town with a chateau, the Chateau de Neuvic which is open for visits in the summer.

Neuvic sur l'Isle guide
Villamblard

Villamblard

North of Bergerac, Villamblard is a pleasant town to discover and surrounded by attractive countryside

Villamblard guide
Issac

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Issac guide
Perigueux cathedral

Perigueux cathedral

The cathedral in Perigueux combines roman and byzantine elements to create a most unusual - and impressive - building

Perigueux cathedral guide
Perigueux

Perigueux

One of our favourite towns in the Dordogne, Perigueux has an imposing byzantine cathedral and an extensive medieval old town to explore

Perigueux guide
Mussidan

Mussidan

Mussidan is a small town on the confluence of the rivers Isle and Crempse in the Dordogne.

Mussidan guide

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

Address: Saint-Astier, Périgueux, Aquitaine, 24110, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 45.1464, longitude 0.5292

Plan your visit to Saint-Astier, Dordogne

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

Market days in Saint-Astier, France

Regular market(s) are held in Saint-Astier each Thursday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Saint-Astier (Francais)

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