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The Venice of the Périgord

Abbaye Brantome

Brantôme occupies one of the most charming sites in the whole of the Dordogne. The village itself sits on an island in the middle of the river Dronne while the picturesque Abbey lies across the river. Brantôme is often referred to as the Venice of the Green Périgord due to the way the waters of the river surround and bisect the town.

The Abbey, together with its splendid Belfry, sits below a cliff on the Boulevard Charlemagne. It was founded by Charlemagne in 769 and rebuilt in the 11th Century after being destroyed by the Normans. The writer Pierre de Bourdeille, better known as Brantôme, was the administrator here during the 16th Century.

The Clocher was built separately from the Abbey and is the oldest bell tower in the Limousin style. Also of interest in Brantôme is the Troglodyte tour – the caves behind the Abbey were used by hermits originally and were a place of refuge until the 17th Century.

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Market days: Tuesday & Friday

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Text © Paul Shawcross

Image by Monster1000 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0