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A huge church in a tiny village

This small village is named after Avitus Senior from nearby Lanquais who was a soldier the army of the Visigoth King Alaric II and later become a hermit.

A Benedictine Abbey was erected here during the 11th Century in honour of Avitus and since then has been ransacked several times. It was fortified during the Hundred Years’ War but despite this precaution the monks were all killed and the tower demolished during the Wars of Religion.

Declared a Historical Monument in 1862 the Abbey Church was restored and re-opened in 2000. The Dormitory has now been converted into the regional Museum of Geology and Archeology. (Open Jul & Aug 10 – 6)

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Text © Paul Shawcross

Image by Photo by Jules Thackway