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Photo of Brantome

Visit Brantome

Brantome is an attractive town near the northern edge of the Dordogne department and has a nice mix of medieval and renaissance architecture to admire. The town is classed as one of 'les Plux Beaux Detours', most beautiful detours, in France.

Explore Brantome

Brantome sits on a bend of the river Dronne that encircles a large part of the town and the steep wooded slopes form an attractive backdrop. The Benedictine Abbey on the river's edge is superb and this along with the old stone bridge, weir and pretty mill now turned into a splendid hotel and restaurant all make for a very photogenic scene and make Brantome one of the most beautiful towns of the Dordogne.

Brantome Abbey was built by Charlemagne in 769 and is the main historical highlight of the town along with its troglodyte caves including the famous cave of the 'Last Judgement'.

Brantome abbey

The abbey church is also worth visiting, with certain parts dating back to the 15th century, especially part of the cloisters.The church belfry in Brantome was built in the 11th century and is the oldest to be found in France, it stands on a rocky outcrop at the bottom of a cliff next to the abbey.

At the other end of the Boulevard Charlemagne from the church are an attractive Renaissance Pavilion and the round Tour St Roch. These formed part of the defenses of the southern part of the abbey whilst the Porte des Reformes defended the northern side.

Next to the Renaissance Pavilion are some very pretty gardens known as the Grand Jardin or the Jardin des Moines (large garden or monks garden). These originally belonged to the abbey but are now public gardens.

To get the best views of the abbey and church cross the river on the beautiful stone bridge which provides a good vantage point to admire the town.

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In the town itself there are a number of Renaissance and medieval buildings to look for. Pick up a map from the tourist office to make sure you can find the most noteworthy amongst them. There is also a former civil and military hospital, the church of Notre-Dame, a convent and a  metal footbridge over the river which was built with guidance from the Eiffel workshop in Paris.

It is very pleasant to walk along the edge of the river and through the river-side gardens. The river is calm and gentle at this point, covered with water lilies, and sheltered by weeping willows. If you prefer canoes can be hired at Brantome for a relaxing glide along the river (a favourite with adults and children).

Brantôme market day is Friday and on Fridays Brantome is particularly animated and colourful!

Brantome - things to do

Hire a canoe for half a day or a day and enjoy this lovely stretch of the river.

canoeing in Brantome

Visit the Peyrelevade Dolmen on the right bank of the river, a preserved megalithic monument.

There is a garden to visit at Brantome - the Jardins Tranquille. This runs along the edge of the river and is very pretty.

Museums

Visit the Musee Fernand-Desmoulin with works by Fernand Desmoulin a painter and illustrator of novels in the early 20th century whose paintings include a number when he was a key spiritual artist at the height of the movement. The museum is situated in the convent of the abbey and is included in the price of a visit to the abbey.

Places to visit nearby

Bourdeilles and the Bourdeilles chateau are 7km to the south, on the River Dronne and make a pleasant excursion.

On the river Cole to the north-east of Brantome, two attractive villages are to be found - La Chapelle-Faucher and St-Jean-de-Cole - that warrant a visit, and then nearby at Thiviers there is an interesting 'Roman style' church.

Continue another 10km north through the forests of northern Dordogne and you will reach the fairy-tale Chateau de Jumilhac.

See also: 

Photos of Brantome

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Map of Brantome and places to visit

 
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Brantome places to visit

Brantome Abbey

Brantome Abbey

Brantome Abbey is a Benedictine Abbey dating from the 8th century.

Brantome Abbey guide
Les Jardins Tranquille

Les Jardins Tranquille

A pretty river side garden on the edge of Brantome.

Les Jardins Tranquille guide
Bourdeilles

Bourdeilles

Bourdeilles is a charming village with a large castle.

Bourdeilles guide
Chateau de Bourdeilles

Chateau de Bourdeilles

The Chateau de Bourdeilles specialises in medieval games.

Chateau de Bourdeilles guide
La Chapelle Faucher

La Chapelle Faucher

La Chapelle Faucher is a quiet village with a pretty square.

La Chapelle Faucher guide
Chateau de Puyguilhem

Chateau de Puyguilhem

The Chateau de Puyguilhem is similar in style to the Loire Valley castles.

Chateau de Puyguilhem guide
 
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