The Abbey of Brantôme
The Abbey of Brantôme Known as Saint Peter of Brantôme was founded according to the legend in 769 by Charlemagne himself. It was classified as historical monuments in 1840. It is a Romanesque architecture building, however, with the vault of the Gothic-style church as rebuilt in the XV century.
It is placed under the double word of Saint Peter and Saint Sapalo, one of the innocent Saints of Bethlehem killed by order of King Herod according to the Gospel of St. Matthew. A fragment of the child's relic is treasured in the church in an elegant shrine
The abbey is known for its steeple which has the peculiarity of not overcoming the church but to be built on the rocky overhang of 12 metre high which is located at the top. It would be the oldest campanile in France, that is to say a tower with bells used to call the faithful to prayer.
The church is housed in the hollow of a cliff bordering the Dronne River.
Originally part of the Benedictine abbey was built in the cliff, this one is pierced by a dozen caves that were used as dwellings, places of life, a dovecote and even a salmon fry aquaculture. One of the caves hosts a fountain of miraculous virtues dedicated to Saint-Sapalo, whose relics were offered to the monks by Charlemagne, and which are now preserved in the abbey.
The largest of the caves contains two monumental bas-reliefs, this is the cave called the Last Judgement.
The troglodytic site is open to visitors all year round, except in January, it is coupled with the visit of the Ferdinand Desmoulins Museum
In front of the caves and masking them in part are important buildings conventual (i.e. belonging to the church) and a remnant of the cloister.
The Conventual buildings today welcome the Museum of Fernand Demoulin academic and etcher painter who won by the Fever of Spiritism very in vogue in his time, realized from 1900 to 1902 an exceptional psychic work.
Caves of the Abbey (visit free or commented) or steeple (Guided Tour): 6 to €7.50-Reduced rate 4 to €5.50 paired ticket: €9.50, reduced rate €6-free-12 years. Ticket paired with Château de Puyguilhem: €10 and Bourdeilles: €12
Dates and Times
Open from 12 February to 30 December.