Brantôme Abbey Brantôme Abbey Brantôme Abbey Brantôme Abbey

Brantôme Abbey

An exceptional site

Brantôme Abbey

The abbey of Brantôme According to legend, the church of Saint Pierre de Brantôme was founded in 769 by Charlemagne himself, and was listed as a historic monument in 1840. The building is of Romanesque architecture, but the vaulted ceiling of the church was rebuilt in the 15th century in the Gothic style.
It is dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Sicarius, one of the Holy Innocents of Bethlehem, killed by order of King Herod according to the Gospel of Saint Matthew. A fragment of the child's relic is preciously preserved within the church in an elegant shrine.
The abbey is famous for its bell tower, which has the unusual feature of not topping the church, but being built on the 12-metre-high rock overhang above it. It is said to be the oldest campanile in France, i.e. a tower housing the bells used to call the faithful to prayer.
The church is nestled in a cliff on the banks of the River Dronne.

Originally, part of the Benedictine abbey was built into the cliff, which is pierced by a dozen caves that served as living quarters, a dovecote and even a salmon fry farm. One of the caves houses a miraculous fountain dedicated to Saint-Sicaire, whose relics are said to have been donated to the monks by Charlemagne, and which are now kept in the abbey church.
The largest of the grottoes contains two monumental bas-reliefs, known as the grotto of the Last Judgment.
The troglodytic site is open to visitors all year round, with the exception of January, when it is combined with a visit to the Musée Ferdinand Desmoulins
In front of the grottoes, partly masking them, are important conventual buildings (i.e. belonging to the church) and a remnant of the cloister.
Today, the convent buildings house the Fernand Desmoulin Museum. An academic painter and aquafortist, Desmoulin was won over by the fever for spiritualism that was very much in vogue in his day, and between 1900 and 1902 produced an exceptional body of mediumistic work.

Equipment

Pricing details

Grottes de l'abbaye (self-guided or guided tour) or Clocher (guided tour): €6 to €7.50 - concessions €4 to €5.50 Combined ticket: €9.50, concessions €6 - Free for children under 12. Combined ticket with Château de Puyguilhem: 10€ and Bourdeilles : 12€

Dates and times

Open from February 12 to December 30.

 

Address:

abbaye de brantome 24310 BRANTOME EN PERIGORD

Sector

Green Périgord

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